Molecular SIBLINGs in Health and Disease
Osteopontin in cancer: Therapeutics
The association of OPN with different cancers and distinct stages of disease progression suggests that it is a viable target for therapeutic intervention. A number of studies have tested this hypothesis both in normal cells and in cancer (Table 1). For example OPN expression decreases susceptibility to apoptosis while targeted reduction of OPN increases apoptotic cell death. For the other key steps, OPN enhances tumor progression and targeted reduction of OPN decreases or inhibits progression.


Table 1. Effects of enhanced or reduced OPN levels on cancer sentinel steps.


Elevated OPN expression

Reduced OPN expression


(26, 29-32)



(17, 39-47)

(48, 49)



(35, 57-59)





(55, 74-77)

(78, 79)




decreased; increased


Thus, OPN provides a novel therapeutic target that can impact on multiple key phases in tumor progression. Convening a conference of experts in OPN biology, chemistry, physiology and pathology provides the state-of-the-art in reagents, methodology, pathways and outcomes to be assessed.



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