HIF-1α and calcium signaling as targets for treatment of prostate cancer by cardiac glycosides

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer possesses its unique feature of low proliferation rate and slow growth. Ca2+-induced apoptosis is not dependent on cell cycle progression and targeting this pathway could circumvent the problems encountered using current cytotoxic chemotherapies for prostate cancer. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) is another novel cancer drug target and inhibitors of hypoxia-response pathway are being developed. Digoxin and other cardiac glycosides, known inhibitors of the alpha-subunit of sarcolemmal Na +K+-ATPase, were recently found to block tumor growth via the inhibition of HIF-1α synthesis. Thus, cardiac glycosides disrupt two important cellular pathways and, therefore, may be useful as an anticancer therapy. This review will focus on HIF-1α and calcium signaling as novel cancer drug targets in prostate cancer. The possible application of digoxin and other cardiac glycosides in cancer therapeutics especially in prostate cancer is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-887
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Cancer Drug Targets
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Calcium
  • Cardiac glycosides
  • Digoxin
  • HIF-1α
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Cancer Research


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