The role of reactive oxygen species in oxidative-induced neoplastic transformation
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The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a normal occurrence in the life of a cell. ROS are derived from both exogenous and endogenous sources and take part in a plethora of normal physiological mechanisms from host immunity to cell cycle regulation. However, ROS also exhibit a deleterious, disruptive character that means they must now be taken seriously as a genuine carcinogenic agent able to alter a variety of pathways leading to the initiation of cancer. The two-sidedness of ROS means that the relationship between ROS and the onset and progression of cancer is hard to determine. ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are able to initiate cancer through the damage of DNA leading to the genetic instability that drives the early stages of cancer. Simultaneously, they can activate a number of signalling cascades and transcription factors that facilitate uncontrolled cell growth. The production of ROS in neoplastic cells can lead to the production of new blood vessels that provide the machinery for subsequent metastasis and tumour invasion. It is important that the role of ROS in these pathways are fully elucidated in order to provide potential therapies measures.
Puleston, D. (2009) 'The role of reactive oxygen species in oxidative-induced neoplastic transformation', The Plymouth Student Scientist, p. 279-288.