Carbonic Anhydrase IX (CAIX), Cancer, and Radiation Responsiveness

Metabolites. 2018 Feb 10;8(1):13. doi: 10.3390/metabo8010013.


Carbonic anhydrase IX has been under intensive investigation as a therapeutic target in cancer. Studies demonstrate that this enzyme has a key role in pH regulation in cancer cells, allowing these cells to adapt to the adverse conditions of the tumour microenviroment. Novel CAIX inhibitors have shown efficacy in both in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical cancer models, adversely affecting cell viability, tumour formation, migration, invasion, and metastatic growth when used alone. In co-treatments, CAIX inhibitors may enhance the effects of anti-angiogenic drugs or chemotherapy agents. Research suggests that these inhibitors may also increase the response of tumours to radiotherapy. Although many of the anti-tumour effects of CAIX inhibition may be dependent on its role in pH regulation, recent work has shown that CAIX interacts with several of the signalling pathways involved in the cellular response to radiation, suggesting that pH-independent mechanisms may also be an important basis of its role in tumour progression. Here, we discuss these pH-independent interactions in the context of the ability of CAIX to modulate the responsiveness of cancer to radiation.

Keywords: cancer; carbonic anhydrase IX; hypoxia; radiation; resistance.

Publication types

  • Review