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Open AccessReview

Targeting Glutathione Metabolism: Partner in Crime in Anticancer Therapy

1
Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, 00166 Rome, Italy
3
IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Via della Pisana 235, 00163 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081926
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glutathione Metabolism)
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PDF [743 KB, uploaded 16 August 2019]
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Abstract

Glutathione (GSH) is the predominant low-molecular-weight antioxidant with a ubiquitous distribution inside the cell. The steady-state level of cellular GSH is dependent on the balance between synthesis, hydrolysis, recycling of glutathione disulphide (GSSG) as well as cellular extrusion of reduced, oxidized, or conjugated-forms. The augmented oxidative stress typical of cancer cells is accompanied by an increase of glutathione levels that confers them growth advantage and resistance to a number of chemotherapeutic agents. Targeting glutathione metabolism has been widely investigated for cancer treatment although GSH depletion as single therapeutic strategy has resulted largely ineffective if compared with combinatorial approaches. In this review, we circumstantiate the role of glutathione in tumour development and progression focusing on how interfering with different steps of glutathione metabolism can be exploited for therapeutic purposes. A dedicated section on synthetic lethal interactions with GSH modulators will highlight the promising option of harnessing glutathione metabolism for patient-directed therapy in cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: GSH; cancer therapy; ferroptosis; synthetic lethality GSH; cancer therapy; ferroptosis; synthetic lethality
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Desideri, E.; Ciccarone, F.; Ciriolo, M.R. Targeting Glutathione Metabolism: Partner in Crime in Anticancer Therapy. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1926.

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