Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS): Key Components in Cancer Therapies

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Biswa Mohan Sahoo*, Bimal Krishna Banik, Preetismita Borah, Adya Jain

Journal Name: Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

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Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) refers to the highly reactive substances which contain oxygen radicals. Hypochlorous acid, peroxides, superoxide, singlet oxygen, alpha-oxygen, and hydroxyl radicals are the major examples of ROS. Generally, the reduction of oxygen (O2) in molecular form produces superoxide (•O2 −) anion. ROS are produced during a variety of biochemical reactions within the cell organelles, such as endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and peroxisome. Naturally, ROS are also formed as a byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen. The production of ROS can be induced by various factors such as heavy metals, tobacco, smoke, drugs, xenobiotics, pollutants, and radiation. From various experimental studies, it is reported that ROS acts as either a tumor-suppressing or a tumor-promoting agent. The elevated level of ROS can arrest the growth of tumors through the persistent increase in cell cycle inhibition. The increased level of ROS can induce apoptosis by both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. ROS is considered to be a tumor-suppressing agent as the production of ROS is due to the use of most of the chemotherapeutic agents in order to activate cell death. The cytotoxic effect of ROS provides impetus towards apoptosis, but in higher levels, ROS can cause initiation of malignancy that leads to uncontrolled cell death in cancer cells. In contrast, some species of ROS can influence various activities at the cellular level, including cell proliferation. This review highlights the genesis of ROS within cells by various routes and their role in cancer therapies.

Keywords: Reactive oxygen species, generation, cancer, pathway, therapy, free radical.

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Published on: 07 June, 2021
(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1871520621666210608095512
Price: $95

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