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Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1389-5575
ISSN (Online): 1875-5607

Mini-Review Article

Novel Mitochondria-targeted Drugs for Cancer Therapy

Author(s): Jindriska Leischner Fialova, Martina Raudenska, Milan Jakubek, Zdenek Kejik, Pavel Martasek, Petr Babula, Adam Matkowski, Petr Filipensky and Michal Masarik*

Volume 21, Issue 7, 2021

Published on: 18 November, 2020

Page: [816 - 832] Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/1389557520666201118153242

Price: $65


The search for mitochondria-targeted drugs has dramatically risen over the last decade. Mitochondria are essential organelles serving not only as a powerhouse of the cell but also as a key player in cell proliferation and cell death. Their central role in the energetic metabolism, calcium homeostasis and apoptosis makes them an intriguing field of interest for cancer pharmacology. In cancer cells, many mitochondrial signaling and metabolic pathways are altered. These changes contribute to cancer development and progression. Due to changes in mitochondrial metabolism and changes in membrane potential, cancer cells are more susceptible to mitochondria-targeted therapy. The loss of functional mitochondria leads to the arrest of cancer progression and/or a cancer cell death. Identification of mitochondrial changes specific for tumor growth and progression, rational development of new mitochondria-targeted drugs and research on delivery agents led to the advance of this promising area. This review will highlight the current findings in mitochondrial biology, which are important for cancer initiation, progression and resistance, and discuss approaches of cancer pharmacology with a special focus on the anti-cancer drugs referred to as ‘mitocans’.

Keywords: Mitochondria, targeting, metabolism, cancer, treatment, inhibitors, hexokinase, tricarboxylic acid cycle, respiratory chain, electron transport chain.

Graphical Abstract
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