Proton pump inhibitors as anti vacuolar-ATPases drugs: A novel anticancer strategy

Enrico P. Spugnini, Gennaro Citro, Stefano Fais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 8 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Proton pump inhibitors as anti vacuolar-ATPases drugs: A novel anticancer strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this