Targeting Ferroptosis in Colorectal Cancer

Metabolites. 2022 Aug 12;12(8):745. doi: 10.3390/metabo12080745.


Ferroptosis is a unique way of regulating cell death (RCD), which is quite different from other programmed cell deaths such as autophagy. It presents iron overload, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and lipid peroxidation. A ferroptotic cell usually has an intact cell structure as well as shrinking mitochondria with decreased or vanishing cristae, concentrated membrane density, and ruptured outer membrane. Recently, increasing investigations have discovered that tumor cells have a much greater iron demand than the normal ones, making them more sensitive to ferroptosis. In other words, ferroptosis may inhibit the progress of the tumor, which can be used in the therapy of tumor patients, especially for those with chemotherapy resistance. Therefore, ferroptosis has become one hot spot in the field of tumor research in recent years. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one common type of gastrointestinal malignancy. The incidence of CRC appears to have an upward trend year by year since the enhancement of living standards. Although surgery and chemoradiotherapy have largely improved the prognosis of patients with CRC, some patients still appear to have severe adverse reactions and drug resistance. Moreover, much research has verified that ferroptosis has a necessary association with the occurrence and progression of gastrointestinal tumors. In this review, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of the main mechanisms of iron metabolism, lipid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism involved in the occurrence of ferroptosis, as well as the research progress of ferroptosis in CRC.

Keywords: colorectal cancer 2; ferroptosis 1; iron ions 3; lipid peroxides 4.

Publication types

  • Review