Since the discovery of cisplatin and its introduction in the clinics, metal compounds have been intensely investigated in view of their possible application in cancer therapy. In this frame, a deeper understanding of their mode of action, still rather obscure, might turn crucial for the design and the obtainment of new and better anticancer agents. Due to the extreme complexity of the biological systems, it is now widely accepted that innovative and information-rich methods are absolutely needed to afford such a goal. Recently, both proteomic and metallomic strategies were successfully implemented for the elucidation of specific mechanistic features of anticancer metallodrugs within an innovative “Systems Biology” perspective. Particular attention was paid to the following issues: i) proteomic studies of the molecular basis of platinum resistance; ii) proteomic analysis of cellular responses to cytotoxic metallodrugs; iii) metallomic studies of the transformation and fate of metallodrugs in cellular systems. Notably, those pioneering studies, that are reviewed here, allowed a significant progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of metal based drugs at the cellular level. A further extension of those studies and a closer integration of proteomic and metallomic strategies and technologies might realistically lead to rapid and significant advancements in the mechanistic knowledge of anticancer metallodrugs.
Keywords: Cancer, metallodrugs, metallomics, proteomics, systems biology, 2D- gel electrophoresis
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