Apoptins: selective anticancer agents

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


•Apoptins are viral proteins that trigger cell death.
•Apoptins show cancer-selective toxicity.
•Potential delivery methods are being assayed for future apoptin clinical trials.
Therapies that selectively target cancer cells for death have been the center of intense research recently. One potential therapy may involve apoptin proteins, which are able to induce apoptosis in cancer cells leaving normal cells unharmed. Apoptin was originally discovered in the Chicken anemia virus (CAV); however, human gyroviruses (HGyV) have recently been found that also harbor apoptin-like proteins. Although the cancer cell specific activity of these apoptins appears to be well conserved, the precise functions and mechanisms of action are yet to be fully elucidated. Strategies for both delivering apoptin to treat tumors and disseminating the protein inside the tumor body are now being developed, and have shown promise in preclinical animal studies.


  • Oscar Miguel Rollano Penaloza
  • Magdalena Lewandowska
  • Joerg Stetefeld
  • Karolina Ossysek
  • Mariusz Madej
  • Joanna Bereta
  • Mateusz Sobczak
  • Shahla Shojaei
  • Saeid Ghavami
  • Marek Los
External organisations
  • Linköping University
  • Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Biotecnologia, La Paz
  • Pomeranian Medical University
  • University of Manitoba
  • Jagellonian University
  • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • anticancer agents, anaphase-promoting complex, CDK2, protein kinase C, protein phosphatase 2A
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-528
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug 19
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes