Oxygen regulates molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis

Gupta, Kartik ; Madan, Esha ; Sayyid, Muzzammil ; Arias-Pulido, Hugo ; Moreno, Eduardo ; Kuppusamy, Periannan ; Gogna, Rajan

In: Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, 2014, vol. 33, no. 1, p. 183-215

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    Oxygen is the basic molecule which supports life and it truly is "god's gift to life.” Despite its immense importance, research on "oxygen biology” has never received the light of the day and has been limited to physiological and biochemical studies. It seems that in modern day biology, oxygen research is summarized in one word "hypoxia.” Scientists have focused on hypoxia-induced transcriptomics and molecular-cellular alterations exclusively in disease models. Interestingly, the potential of oxygen to control the basic principles of biology like homeostatic maintenance, transcription, replication, and protein folding among many others, at the molecular level, has been completely ignored. Here, we present a perspective on the crucial role played by oxygen in regulation of basic biological phenomena. Our conclusion highlights the importance of establishing novel research areas like oxygen biology, as there is great potential in this field for basic science discoveries and clinical benefits to the society.