Clusterin is a multifunctional glycoprotein whose role in cells has generated a great controversy
in recent years. Since its discovery, numerous studies have linked clusterin expression deregulation
with various physio-pathological processes such as cancer or Alzheimer's disease. Although the
results of such investigations have sometimes been contradictory, mainly due to the dichotomous role of
clusterin isoforms, it has been demonstrated that this protein is involved in diverse cellular processes,
including apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, DNA repair or the acquisition of cell resistance against multiple
These results, together with the breakthrough of gene therapies, have motivated a great effort to elucidate
the importance of clusterin as a potential therapeutic target. However, the understanding of a single
gene, with multiple RNA transcripts and several protein isoforms has turned out to be a complex task.
In this review, we summarize the studies published to date on factors that can affect clusterin expression
and evaluate if a better understanding of this complex gene/protein would be useful to develop new
treatment strategies for cancer and other pathologies.