Chapter 1

Neutrophil Elastase as a Target in Lung Cancer: the State of the Art

Gautier Moroy, Alain J.P. Alix, Janos Sapi, William Hornebeck and Erika Bourguet


Human neutrophil elastase (HNE), a main factor in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, has been recently involved in non-small cell lung cancer progression. It can act at several levels (i) intracellularly, cleaving for instance the adaptor molecule insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) (ii) at the cell surface, hydrolyzing receptors as CD40 (iii) in the extracellular space, generating elastin fragments i.e. morphoelastokines which potently stimulate cancer cell invasiveness and angiogenesis. </p><p> Since decades, researchers identified natural compounds and/or synthesized agents which antagonize HNE activity that will be described in this review article. Some of these compounds might be of value as therapeutic agents in lung cancer. </p><p> However, it is now widely accepted that lung tumor invasion and metastasis involve proteolytic cascades. Accordingly, we will here mainly focus our attention to natural substances able to display a dual inhibitory capacity (i.e. lipids and derivatives, phenolics) towards HNE and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), particularly MMP-2. To that purpose, we had synthesized substances named “LipoGalardin” exhibiting such inhibitory bifunctionality. At last, we will propose an original synthetic scheme for designing a potent biheaded HNE/MMP-2 inhibitor.

Total Pages: 3-49 (47)

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