The endothelin axis in cancer

Anna Bagnato, Laura Rosanò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The endothelin axis, comprising endothelins and their receptors, has recently emerged as relevant player in tumor growth and metastasis by regulating mitogenesis, cell survival, angiogenesis, bone remodeling, stimulation of nociceptor receptor, tumor-infiltrating immune cells, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, invasion and metastatic dissemination. Endothelin-1 participates in the growth and progression of a variety of tumors such as prostatic, ovarian, renal, pulmonary, colorectal, cervical, breast, bladder, endometrial carcinomas, Kaposi's sarcoma, brain tumors, melanoma, and bone metastases. This review highlights key signaling pathways activated by endothelin-1 axis in cancer, since the understanding the full spectrum activated by endothelin-1 is critical for the optimal design of targeted therapies. Preliminary experimental and clinical data demonstrate that interfering with endothelin receptor by using endothelin-1 receptor antagonists alone and in combination with cytotoxic drugs or molecular inhibitors could represent a new mechanism-based antitumor strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1451
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Antitumor therapy
  • Endothelin
  • Endothelin receptor antagonist
  • G-protein-coupled receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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