The role of prostacyclin in lung cancer


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Abstract

Prostanoids are bioactive lipids that interact with 7-membrane-spanning G-protein–coupled receptors on target cells to impart their biologic effects.1 They include prostaglandins, prostacyclin, and thromboxane. Prostanoids are widely distributed; mediate several diverse biologic effects like platelet aggregation and smooth-muscle contraction; and are known to be involved in allergies, acquired immunity, and cancer metastasis.2 Prostanoids have also been associated with breast and endometrial cancer promotion, and with the inhibition of melanoma. The role of prostanoids in the development of lung disease has been poorly understood. In particular, prostacyclin possesses significant anti-inflammatory and antimetastatic properties and is the main product of cyclooxygenase-2 activity in the lung. In fact, the balance of the various members of the prostanoids family, specifically the prosoglandins PGE2 and prostacyclin (PGI2), seems to play an increasingly important role in the development of lung cancer. Gaining a better understanding of prostanoids and their associated pathways is critical to the future development of molecular-based and pharmaceutical treatments of lung disease.

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