Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in bladder cancer: a promising therapeutic target

Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Apr;8(7):6-15. doi: 10.4161/cbt.8.7.7853.


Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated intracellular transcription factors, members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. The PPAR subfamily consist of three subtypes encoded by distinct genes denoted PPARalpha, PPARbeta/delta, and PPARgamma. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is the most extensively studied subtype of the PPARs. Over the last decade, research on PPARgamma unveiled its role in important biological processes, including lipid biosynthesis, glucose metabolism, anti-inflammatory response, and atherosclerosis. Recently, PPARgamma has been shown to be expressed in many cancers including, lung, prostate, bladder, colon, breast, duodenal, thyroid, and has been demonstrated to potentially play an important role in carcinogenesis. In bladder cancer, PPARgamma ligands such as troglitazone and 15d-PGJ2 have shown to inhibit tumor growth. We have recently published the first report to show that a new class of PPARgamma agonists, PPARgamma-active C-DIMs, which are more potent than the previous generation of drugs, exhibit anti-tumorigenic activity against bladder cancer cells in vitro and bladder tumors in vivo. The following review will discuss the molecular structure of PPARgamma, its function and its role in cancer biology and how it is emerging as a promising therapeutic target in bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • PPAR gamma / agonists*
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • PPAR gamma