Interplay Between Mitochondrial Peroxiredoxins and ROS in Cancer Development and Progression

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 7;20(18):4407. doi: 10.3390/ijms20184407.


Mitochondria are multifunctional cellular organelles that are major producers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in eukaryotes; to maintain the redox balance, they are supplemented with different ROS scavengers, including mitochondrial peroxiredoxins (Prdxs). Mitochondrial Prdxs have physiological and pathological significance and are associated with the initiation and progression of various cancer types. In this review, we have focused on signaling involving ROS and mitochondrial Prdxs that is associated with cancer development and progression. An upregulated expression of Prdx3 and Prdx5 has been reported in different cancer types, such as breast, ovarian, endometrial, and lung cancers, as well as in Hodgkin's lymphoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. The expression of Prdx3 and Prdx5 in different types of malignancies involves their association with different factors, such as transcription factors, micro RNAs, tumor suppressors, response elements, and oncogenic genes. The microenvironment of mitochondrial Prdxs plays an important role in cancer development, as cancerous cells are equipped with a high level of antioxidants to overcome excessive ROS production. However, an increased production of Prdx3 and Prdx5 is associated with the development of chemoresistance in certain types of cancers and it leads to further complications in cancer treatment. Understanding the interplay between mitochondrial Prdxs and ROS in carcinogenesis can be useful in the development of anticancer drugs with better proficiency and decreased resistance. However, more targeted studies are required for exploring the tumor microenvironment in association with mitochondrial Prdxs to improve the existing cancer therapies and drug development.

Keywords: ROS scavengers; mitochondria; peroxiredoxins; reactive oxygen species; tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Peroxiredoxin III / metabolism*
  • Peroxiredoxins / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Response Elements
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • PRDX3 protein, human
  • PRDX5 protein, human
  • Peroxiredoxin III
  • Peroxiredoxins