Signal-dependent regulation of gene expression as a target for cancer treatment: Inhibiting p38α in colorectal tumors

Fulvio Chiacchiera, Cristiano Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last year, several evidences indicated that pharmacological manipulation of relevant signaling pathways could selectively affect gene expression to influence cell fate. These findings render of extreme importance the elucidation of how external stimuli are transduced to mediate chromatin modifications, resulting in a permissive or repressive environment for gene expression. These signaling cascades activate or repress the function of chromatin binding proteins that represent attractive pharmacological targets for human diseases. Actually, the closer the target is to chromatin, the more the transcriptional effect will be selective. Recent studies suggest that pharmacological manipulation of signaling pathways to modulate cell fate is indeed possible and that chromatin-associated kinases could represent an optimal target. The p38 MAPK is the prototype of this class of enzymes and its central role in the transcription process is evolutionary conserved. In this review we will focus on the possibility to inhibit p38α in colorectal cancer to arrest tumor progression and induce autophagic cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2008


  • Autophagy
  • Chromatin-associated kinase
  • Colorectal cancer
  • p38
  • Signal-dependent gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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