Molecular functions of metallothionein and its role in hematological malignancies
Division of Hematology, Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, 252-0373, Japan
Division of Molecular Hematology, Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, 252-0373, Japan
Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:41 doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-41Published: 27 July 2012
Metallothionein (MT) was reported to be a potential negative regulator of apoptosis, and various reports have suggested that it may play roles in carcinogenesis and drug resistance, in at least a portion of cancer cells. The author summarizes the current understanding of the molecular functions of MT for tumor cell growth and drug resistance. These activities are regulated through intracellular metal ion modulation and free radical scavenging. Compared with analyses of solid tumors, few studies have analyzed the roles of MT in hematological malignancies. This review mainly describes the functions of MT in hematopoietic cells. Furthermore, through expression analyses of leukemias and lymphomas, the roles of MT in the biology of these diseases are particularly focused upon.