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Open Access Exploiting APC Function as a Novel Cancer Therapy

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The Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) tumor suppressor is most commonly mutated in colorectal cancers such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP); as well as many other epithelial cancers like breast, pancreatic, and lung cancer. APC mutations usually result in a truncated form of the protein lacking the carboxy-terminal region resulting in loss of function. Mutations in APC have been identified in early stages of cancer development making it a gatekeeper of tumor progression and therefore an ideal therapeutic target. APC is best known for its role as a negative regulator of the Wnt/β -catenin pathway. However, APC also mediates several other normal cell functions independently of Wnt/β-catenin signaling such as apical-basal polarity, microtubule networks, cell cycle, DNA replication and repair, apoptosis, and cell migration. Given the vast cellular processes involving APC, the loss of these "normal" functions due to mutation can contribute to chemotherapeutic resistance. Several therapeutic treatments have been explored to restore APC function including the reintroduction of APC into mutant cells, inhibiting pathways activated by the loss of APC, and targeting APCmutant cells for apoptosis. This review will discuss the normal functions of APC as they relate to potential treatments for patients, the role of APC loss in several types of epithelial cancers, and an overview of therapeutic options targeting both the Wnt-dependent and -independent functions of APC.
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Keywords: APC; cancer; targeted therapy; tumor suppressor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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