Targeting Nodal and Cripto-1: Perspectives Inside Dual Potential Theranostic Cancer Biomarkers

Author(s): Annamaria Sandomenico*, Menotti Ruvo*.

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 26 , Issue 11 , 2019

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Background: Elucidating the mechanisms of recurrence of embryonic signaling pathways in tumorigenesis has led to the discovery of onco-fetal players which have physiological roles during normal development but result aberrantly re-activated in tumors. In this context, Nodal and Cripto-1 are recognized as onco-developmental factors, which are absent in normal tissues but are overexpressed in several solid tumors where they can serve as theranostic agents.

Objective: To collect, review and discuss the most relevant papers related to the involvement of Nodal and Cripto-1 in the development, progression, recurrence and metastasis of several tumors where they are over-expressed, with a particular attention to their occurrence on the surface of the corresponding sub-populations of cancer stem cells (CSC).

Results: We have gathered, rationalized and discussed the most interesting findings extracted from some 370 papers related to the involvement of Cripto-1 and Nodal in all tumor types where they have been detected. Data demonstrate the clear connection between Nodal and Cripto-1 presence and their multiple oncogenic activities across different tumors. We have also reviewed and highlighted the potential of targeting Nodal, Cripto-1 and the complexes that they form on the surface of tumor cells, especially of CSC, as an innovative approach to detect and suppress tumors with molecules that block one or more mechanisms that they regulate.

Conclusion: Overall, Nodal and Cripto-1 represent two innovative and effective biomarkers for developing potential theranostic anti-tumor agents that target normal as well as CSC subpopulations and overcome both pharmacological resistance and tumor relapse.

Keywords: Nodal, Cripto-1, biomarker, tumor, CSC, theranostic agents.

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Year: 2019
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DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180912104707
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