The vacuolar ATPases are ATP-dependent proton pumps whose functions include the acidification of intracellular compartments and the extrusion of protons through the cell cytoplasmic membrane. These pumps play a pivotal role in the regulation of cell pH in normal cells and, to a much greater extent, in tumor cells. In fact, the glucose metabolism in hypoxic conditions by the neoplasms lead to an intercellular pH drift towards acidity. The acid microenvironment is modulated through the over-expression of H+ transporters that are also involved in tumor progression, invasiveness, distant spread and chemoresistance. Several strategies to block/downmodulate the efficiency of these transporters are currently being investigated. Among them, proton pump inhibitors have shown to successfully block the H+ transporters in vitro and in vivo, leading to apoptotic death. Furthermore, their action seems to sinergize with conventional chemotherapy protocols, leading to chemosensitization and reversal of chemoresistance. Aim of this article is to critically revise the current knowledge of this cellular machinery and to summarize the therapeutic strategies developed to counter this mechanism.
|Number of pages||1|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - May 8 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research