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Molecules 2013, 18(10), 12500-12537; doi:10.3390/molecules181012500

G-Quadruplexes as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Embryonal Tumors

1
Division of Oncology, University Children's Hospital of Zurich, Zurich 8032, Switzerland
2
Department of Biotechnology and Life Science, Faculty of Technology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan
3
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2013 / Revised: 18 September 2013 / Accepted: 25 September 2013 / Published: 10 October 2013
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Abstract

Embryonal tumors include a heterogeneous group of highly malignant neoplasms that primarily affect infants and children and are characterized by a high rate of mortality and treatment-related morbidity, hence improved therapies are clearly needed. G-quadruplexes are special secondary structures adopted in guanine (G)-rich DNA sequences that are often present in biologically important regions, e.g. at the end of telomeres and in the regulatory regions of oncogenes such as MYC. Owing to the significant roles that both telomeres and MYC play in cancer cell biology, G-quadruplexes have been viewed as emerging therapeutic targets in oncology and as tools for novel anticancer drug design. Several compounds that target these structures have shown promising anticancer activity in tumor xenograft models and some of them have entered Phase II clinical trials. In this review we examine approaches to DNA targeted cancer therapy, summarize the recent developments of G-quadruplex ligands as anticancer drugs and speculate on the future direction of such structures as a potential novel therapeutic strategy for embryonal tumors of the nervous system.
Keywords: embryonal tumors; G-quadruplexes; MYC; telomeres embryonal tumors; G-quadruplexes; MYC; telomeres
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shalaby, T.; Fiaschetti, G.; Nagasawa, K.; Shin-ya, K.; Baumgartner, M.; Grotzer, M. G-Quadruplexes as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Embryonal Tumors. Molecules 2013, 18, 12500-12537.

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