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Emerging treatments in lung cancer – targeting the RLIP76 molecular transporter

Authors Goldfinger LE, Lee S

Received 28 August 2013

Accepted for publication 24 September 2013

Published 5 November 2013 Volume 2013:4 Pages 61—69


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Lawrence E Goldfinger,1,2 Seunghyung Lee1

1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Cancer Biology Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: Multidrug resistance in lung cancer cells is a significant obstacle in the treatment of lung cancer. Resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is often the result of efflux of the drugs from cancer cells, mediated by adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent drug transport across the plasma membrane. Thus, identifying molecular targets in the cancer cell transport machinery could be a key factor in successful combinatorial therapy, along with chemotherapeutic drugs. The transport protein Ral-interacting protein of 76 kDa (RLIP76), also known as Ral-binding protein 1 (RalBP1), is a highly promising target for lung cancer treatment. RLIP76 is an ATP-dependent non-ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, responsible for the major transport function in many cells, including many cancer cell lines, causing efflux of glutathione-electrophile conjugates of both endogenous metabolites and environmental toxins. RLIP76 is expressed in most human tissues, and is overexpressed in non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines and in many tumor types. The blockade of RLIP76 by various approaches has been shown to increase the sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs, and leads to apoptosis in cells. In xenograft tumor models in mice, RLIP76 blockade or depletion results in complete and sustained regression across many cancer cell types, including lung cancer cells. In addition to its transport function, RLIP76 has many other cellular and physiological functions based on its domain structure, which includes a unique Ral-binding domain and a Rho GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP)-catalytic domain as well as docking sites for multiple signaling proteins. As a Ral effector, RhoGAP, and adapter protein, RLIP76 has been shown to play important roles in endocytosis, mitochondrial fission, cell spreading and migration, actin dynamics during gastrulation, and Ras-induced tumorigenesis. Additionally, RLIP76 is also important for stromal cell function in tumors, as it was recently shown to be required for efficient endothelial cell function and angiogenesis in solid tumors. However, RLIP76 knockout mice are viable, and blockade effects appear to be selective for implanted tumors in mice, suggesting the possibility that RLIP76-targeting drugs may be successful in clinical trials. In this review, we outline the many cellular and physiological functions of RLIP76 in normal and cancer cells, and discuss the potential for RLIP76-based therapeutics in lung cancer treatment.

Keywords: RalBP1, tumor angiogenesis, ATP-dependent transport, chemotherapeutics, apoptosis, endothelial cell

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