Cancer Science & Therapy

ISSN: 1948-5956

Open Access

Role of Ferritin in Cancer Biology


Min Pang and James R Connor

As the major iron storage protein, ferritin has been linked with iron metabolism for many years. However, recent studies have discovered new functions for this protein. Our current review summarizes new findings suggesting the link between ferritin and many pathways related with cancer, such as cell proliferation, growth suppressor evasion, cell death inhibition, immortalization, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, and immunomodification. Most of the evidence revealed suggested that elevated ferritin in cancer cells may be related with cancer progression, resistance to therapies, or poor prognosis. By either directly or indirectly participating in cancer related pathways, ferritin proposes itself as a promising target for cancer therapy. Ongoing and prospective preclinical and clinical research will further explore this new strategy that is currently underappreciated. Conclusion: Ferritin is proving to be a much more versatile protein than simply iron storage. It may have signaling properties and reporter properties for some cancers. Data are mounting that ferritin may be a promising target in cancer therapy.


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