Ion Channels in Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 10. doi: 10.1007/112_2020_29. Online ahead of print.


Ion channels are a major class of membrane proteins that play central roles in signaling within and among cells, as well as in the coupling of extracellular events with cellular responses. Dysregulated ion channel activity plays a causative role in many diseases including cancer. Here, we will review their role in lung cancer. Lung cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers, and it causes the highest number of deaths of all cancer types. The overall 5-year survival rate of lung

cancer patients is only 19% and decreases to 5% when patients are diagnosed with stage IV. Thus, new therapeutical strategies are urgently needed. The important contribution of ion channels to the progression of various types of cancer has been firmly established so that ion channel-based therapeutic concepts are currently developed. Thus far, the knowledge on ion channel function in lung cancer is still relatively limited. However, the published studies clearly show the impact of ion channel inhibitors on a number of cellular mechanisms underlying lung cancer cell aggressiveness such as proliferation, migration, invasion, cell cycle progression, or adhesion. Additionally, in vivo experiments reveal that ion channel inhibitors diminish tumor growth in mice. Furthermore, some studies give evidence that ion channel inhibitors can have an influence on the resistance or sensitivity of lung cancer cells to common chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel or cisplatin.