Targeting highly proliferating cells is an important issue for many types of aggressive tumors.
Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) is an essential protein that participates in a variety
of processes of DNA metabolism, including DNA replication and repair, chromatin organization and
transcription and sister chromatid cohesion. In addition, PCNA is involved in cell survival, and possibly
in pathways of energy metabolism, such as glycolysis. Thus, the possibility of targeting this
protein for chemotherapy against highly proliferating malignancies is under active investigation.
Currently, approaches to treat cells with agents targeting PCNA rely on the use of small molecules
or on peptides that either bind to PCNA, or act as a competitor of interacting partners. Here, we describe
the status of the art in the development of agents targeting PCNA and discuss their application
in different types of tumor cell lines and in animal model systems.