Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Cancer Cell Proliferation




Vidhya R. Rao 1 , Mathew Perez-Neut 1, Simon Kaja 2 and Saverio Gentile 1,*



Changes of the electrical charges across the surface cell membrane are absolutely¬†necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis in physiological as well as in pathological¬†conditions. The opening of ion channels alter the charge distribution across the surface¬†membrane as they allow the diffusion of ions such as K+, Ca++, Cl‚ąí, Na+. Traditionally,¬†voltage-gated ion channels (VGIC) are known to play fundamental roles in controlling¬†rapid bioelectrical signaling including action potential and/or contraction. However, several¬†investigations have revealed that these classes of proteins can also contribute significantly to¬†cell mitotic biochemical signaling, cell cycle progression, as well as cell volume regulation.¬†All these functions are critically important for cancer cell proliferation. Interestingly, a¬†variety of distinct VGICs are expressed in different cancer cell types, including metastasis¬†but not in the tissues from which these tumors were generated. Given the increasing evidence¬†suggesting that VGIC play a major role in cancer cell biology, in this review we discuss the¬†role of distinct VGIC in cancer cell proliferation and possible therapeutic potential of VIGC
pharmacological manipulation.

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