Protein-Based Therapeutic Killing for Cancer Therapies

Naroa Serna, Laura Sánchez-García, Ugutz Unzueta, Raquel Díaz, Esther Vázquez, Ramón Mangues, Antonio Villaverde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The treatment of some high-incidence human diseases is based on therapeutic cell killing. In cancer this is mainly achieved by chemical drugs that are systemically administered to reach effective toxic doses. As an innovative alternative, cytotoxic proteins identified in nature can be adapted as precise therapeutic agents. For example, individual toxins and venom components, proapoptotic factors, and antimicrobial peptides from bacteria, animals, plants, and humans have been engineered as highly potent drugs. In addition to the intrinsic cytotoxic activities of these constructs, their biological fabrication by DNA recombination allows the recruitment, in single pharmacological entities, of diverse functions of clinical interest such as specific cell-surface receptor binding, self-activation, and self-assembling as nanoparticulate materials, with wide applicability in cell-targeted oncotherapy and theragnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-335
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • cancer treatment
  • cell-targeted drug delivery
  • nanomedicine
  • protein engineering
  • recombinant proteins
  • toxins


Dive into the research topics of 'Protein-Based Therapeutic Killing for Cancer Therapies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this