Research Topic

Unravelling Copper-Regulatory Systems and Copper-Affected Pathways in Cancer Cells to Improve Current Therapies

About this Research Topic

Copper is a key bio-inorganic element that plays important functions in many processes in vertebrates. Studies have shown elevated serum and tumor copper levels in numerous cancers. The excess copper results in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may be involved in the progression of cancer ...

Copper is a key bio-inorganic element that plays important functions in many processes in vertebrates. Studies have shown elevated serum and tumor copper levels in numerous cancers. The excess copper results in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may be involved in the progression of cancer through inducing DNA damage.
Copper homeostasis is a tightly controlled process. The absorption of copper from dietary intake through the serum and into cells depends on various transporters. There are several copper chaperones designed to stabilize or traffic copper to specific target enzymes or sub-cellular compartments. These regulators of copper homeostasis are considered as potential targets for anticancer therapy.

It has been shown that copper chelators reduce tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis in animal models, but further randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm these benefits. Copper chelation-mediated tumor suppression may be associated with inhibition of crucial copper-dependent proteins/enzymes, but the exact mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Another potential therapeutic approach is to utilize copper ionophores to increase intracellular copper, or use copper complexes/copper nanoparticles to trigger cytotoxicity in cancer cells. Recent studies have shown that copper complexes can target several key players in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). However, the antitumor mechanisms of copper-dependent agents remain to be characterized in depth.

The aim of this Research Topic is to cover novel insights at the interface between the chemistry/biochemistry of copper and cancer.
Authors should contribute to one or more specific themes listed below:

• Copper chemistry and oncological applications
  o Design, synthesis and characterization of new copper-based anticancer agents
  o Mechanisms of action of copper-based agents
  o Design and preparation of copper nanoparticles
  o New imaging/theragnostic systems
  o Inhibition of copper trafficking by therapeutics (e.g., platinum-based drugs)
• Copper biochemistry
  o Copper homeostasis
  o Copper transporters
  o Copper-dependent enzymes
  o Copper’s role or copper-based agents in cancer stem cells
• Copper and cancer pathophysiology
  o Copper-induced oxidative stress in cancer
  o Drug repurposing as copper-dependent anticancer agents
  o Clinical translation of copper-based agents
  o Copper-chelating agents in cancer therapy

Authors should contribute research papers, full-length reviews or well-focused mini-reviews. A list of accepted article types including descriptions can be found at this link.


Keywords: copper chelators, copper complexes, copper homeostasis, copper-sensitive targets, drug repurposing


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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