We have summarized the common and differential functions of HMGB1 and HMGB2 proteins with reference to pathological processes, with a special focus on cancer. Currently, several “omic” approaches help us compare the relative expression of these 2 proteins in healthy and cancerous human specimens, as well as in a wide range of cancer-derived cell lines, or in fetal versus adult cells. Molecules that interfere with HMGB1 functions, though through different mechanisms, have been extensively tested as therapeutic agents in animal models in recent years, and their effects are summarized. The review concludes with a discussion on the perspectives of HMGB molecules as targets in prostate and ovarian cancers.
Keywords: prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, differential expression, HMGB proteins, drug targets
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