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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
The IAP Protein Family, SMAC Mimetics and Cancer Treatment
Department of Oncohematology, R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Department of Surgery, Miyagi Cancer Center, Natori, Miyagi, Japan
Since the acquired resistance of cells to apoptosis is one of the major hallmarks of cancer, the endogenous inhibitors of apoptosis can be regarded as promising targets in the design of anticancer therapeutics. In addition to their antiapoptotic activity, inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are able to regulate numerous other cell functions, including proliferation, differentiation, and migration, as well as proinflammatory and immune responses. Study of the IAP family as target molecules in targeted therapies has recently focused on SMAC mimetics as synthetic IAP antagonists that have been under development as promising therapeutics. To overview the background of IAP proteins and to focus on the development of SMAC mimetics, the present review first looks at the mechanisms of IAP proteins' antiapoptotic activities and those for controlling those activities; then the SMAC mimetics, including birinapant, LCL161, and DEBIO1143/AT-406, and their clinical trials are introduced. To further clarify the processes to exert the efficacies of SMAC mimetics, it is necessary to determine therapeutic biomarkers that predict and assess them, which may include caspases and factors in the TNFα pathway.
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