Viruses function in close harmony with the signaling machinery of their host. Upon exposure to the cell, a battery
of viral products become engaged in boosting friendly signaling elements of the host or suppressing harmful ones.
The efficiency of viral replication is indeed the biological outcome of this interaction between cellular and host signaling
molecules. Oncolytic viruses, natural or man-made, follow the same set of rules of engagement. Pro-oncogenic cell signaling
machinery, therefore, is undoubtedly the most important area influencing the development of the next generation of
effective, specific and rationally designed oncolytic viruses. Ras signaling, with its central role in what is known today as
molecular oncology, is an attractive topic for studying the behavior of viruses versus cancer cells and to develop strategies
to target cancer cells on the basis of such platform. This work reviews the development of oncolytic herpes viruses capable
of targeting Ras signaling pathway along with a few other examples of viruses which are developed to contain specificity
for certain pro-oncogenic characteristics of their host cells.
Keywords: Ras, Ral, ERK, p38, AKT, oncolytic viruses, smart herpes virus, therapy, CD133+ cancer stem cell.s, signaling machinery
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