This review attempts to provide a broad overview of the changes in the cellular redox environment in breast cancer cells. The regulatory power of the redox environment lies in its capacity to control the growth behavior, spread, and differentiation. Neoplastic cells adapt to a wide variety of environmental conditions, including persistent oxidative stress and genomic instability by shifting their redox environment to more reductive conditions, which in its turn triggers upregulation of various redox sensitive prosurvival pathways. This review also examines the interactions between prosurvival signaling pathways, metallothioneins, and hydrogen peroxide generating dual oxidase, and presents a hypothesis to explain their relevance for therapeutic response.
Keywords: Breast cancer cells, intracellular redox state, redox signaling, drug resistance, metallothionein, superoxide dismutase, metal-responsive element, cysteine and glycine-rich protein 1, Lactate dehydrogenase, nitroblue-tetrazolium chloride, Glycogen synthase kinase 3