Activation of Pyroptotic Cell Death Pathways in Cancer: An Alternative Therapeutic Approach.


Department of Gastroenterology, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei Province, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: [Email]


Cancer can be considered the result of a series of genetic variations that lead to a normal cell being transformed into a malignant one while avoiding cell death-atypical characteristics of tumor development. Although a large number of genomics and epigenetic alterations have been identified in cells undergoing apoptotic, autophagic or necrotic cell death, the treatment of cancer remains thought-provoking. Pyroptosis is differentiated from other types of programmed cell death and is mainly activated by Caspase-1. To initiate pyroptosis, cells receive specific "death" messages, produce cytokines, swell, burst, and ultimately die. The deficiency of Caspase-1 expression may lead to inflammation-mediated tumor progression. Hence, the molecular mechanisms for the Caspase-1 activation in tumor tissues are yet to be exploited extensively. This review aims to summarise the latest discoveries about pyroptosis and its new exciting role in inducing cancer cell death.