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Exploring the anticancer potential of the bacterial protein azurin

1 iBB-Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Biological Sciences Research Group, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
2 Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
3 Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Topical Section: Pathogenic microorganisms and human health

Bacterial proteins and their derivative peptides have emerged as promising anticancer agents. Nowadays they represent a valuable set of candidate drugs with different origins and modes of action. Among these, monomeric cupredoxins, which are metalloproteins involved in the electron transport chain of prokaryotes, have been shown to possess potent anticancer activities. In particular, much attention has been focused on azurin produced by the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. More recently, several in vitro and in vivo studies have reported the multi-targeting anticancer properties of azurin. Moreover, p28, a peptide derived from azurin, has completed two phase I clinical trials in cancer patients with promising results. In this updated review, we examine the current knowledge regarding azurin’s modes of action as an anticancer therapeutic protein. We also review the clinical trial results of p28 emphasizing findings that make it suited (alone or in combination) as a therapeutic agent for cancer treatment. Finally we discuss and address the challenges of using the human microbiome to discover novel and unique therapeutic cupredoxin-like proteins.
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Copyright Info: © 2016, Arsenio M. Fialho, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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