Redox homeostasis and cellular antioxidant systems: Crucial players in cancer growth and therapy

Barbara Marengo, Mariapaola Nitti, Annalisa Furfaro, Renata Colla, Chiara De Ciucis, Umberto Maria Marinari, Maria Adelaide Pronzato, Nicola Traverso, Cinzia Domenicotti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their products are components of cell signaling pathways and play important roles in cellular physiology and pathophysiology. Under physiological conditions, cells control ROS levels by the use of scavenging systems such as superoxide dismutases, peroxiredoxins, and glutathione that balance ROS generation and elimination. Under oxidative stress conditions, excessive ROS can damage cellular proteins, lipids, and DNA, leading to cell damage that may contribute to carcinogenesis. Several studies have shown that cancer cells display an adaptive response to oxidative stress by increasing expression of antioxidant enzymes and molecules. As a double-edged sword, ROS influence signaling pathways determining beneficial or detrimental outcomes in cancer therapy. In this review, we address the role of redox homeostasis in cancer growth and therapy and examine the current literature regarding the redox regulatory systems that become upregulated in cancer and their role in promoting tumor progression and resistance to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6235641
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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