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Therapeutic opportunities in colon cancer: Focus on phosphodiesterase inhibitors

Mehta, Ankita, Patel, Bhoomika M.
Life sciences 2019 v.230 pp. 150-161
angiogenesis, antineoplastic activity, apoptosis, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cGMP-dependent protein kinase, carcinogenesis, caspases, colorectal neoplasms, cyclic AMP, cyclic GMP, drug therapy, enzyme inhibitors, gene expression regulation, in vivo studies, ion channels, isozymes, metastasis, oncogenes, patients, pro-apoptotic proteins, signal transduction, technology, tumor suppressor genes
Despite novel technologies, colon cancer remains undiagnosed and 25% of patients are diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. Resistant to chemotherapeutic agents is one of the major problems associated with treating colon cancer which creates the need to develop novel agents targeting towards newer targets. A phosphodiesterase is a group of isoenzyme, which, hydrolyze cyclic nucleotides and thereby lowers intracellular levels of cAMP and cGMP leading to tumorigenic effects. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed increased PDE expression in different types of cancers including colon cancer. cAMP-specific PDE inhibitors increase intracellular cAMP that leads to activation of effector molecules-cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, exchange protein activated by cAMP and cAMP gated ion channels. These molecules regulate cellular responses and exert its anticancer role through different mechanisms including apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, upregulating tumor suppressor genes and suppressing oncogenes. On the other hand, cGMP specific PDE inhibitors exhibit anticancer effects through cGMP dependent protein kinase and cGMP dependent cation channels. Elevation in cGMP works through activation of caspases, suppression of Wnt/b-catenin pathway and TCF transcription leading to inhibition of CDK and survivin. These studies point out towards the fact that PDE inhibition is associated with anti-proliferative, anti-apoptotic and anti-angiogenic pathways involved in its anticancer effects in colon cancer. Thus, inhibition of PDE enzymes can be used as a novel approach to treat colon cancer. This review will focus on cAMP and cGMP signaling pathways leading to tumorigenesis and the use of PDE inhibitors in colon cancer.