Par-4 as a potential target for cancer therapy

Rosalyn B. Irby, Christina Lb Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite extensive research, cancer continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide and is expected to continue to rise as a result of an aging population. Therefore, new therapies are constantly being developed. Par-4 is a naturally occurring tumor suppressor protein that is capable of inducing apoptosis in cancer, but not normal cells. For this reason, Par-4 offers an attractive target for development of cancer therapy, particularly of difficult to treat cancers. Areas covered: The mechanisms by which Par-4 induces cell death are summarized. The ways that Par-4 is controlled in cancer cells are discussed. We discuss how different research groups have developed ways to overexpress and/or activate Par-4 in vitro and in vivo. The studies described demonstrate that when Par-4 levels and/or activity are increased, susceptibility to apoptosis is enhanced and tumor growth is inhibited. Expert opinion: Par-4 is a promising therapeutic protein that can be overexpressed and/or activated to induce apoptosis in a cancer-selective manner. This cancer selectivity is important given that the side-effects of chemotherapeutics can be as debilitating as cancer itself. However, there are key issues that need to be addressed to optimize the effects of Par-4 in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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