Copper homeostasis and cuproptosis in cancer immunity and therapy.
Copper is an essential nutrient for maintaining enzyme activity and transcription factor function. Excess copper results in the aggregation of lipoylated dihydrolipoamide S-acetyltransferase (DLAT), which correlates to the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, resulting in proteotoxic stress and eliciting a novel cell death modality: cuproptosis. Cuproptosis exerts an indispensable role in cancer progression, which is considered a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Cancer immunotherapy has gained extensive attention owing to breakthroughs in immune checkpoint blockade; furthermore, cuproptosis is strongly connected to the modulation of antitumor immunity. Thus, a thorough recognition concerning the mechanisms involved in the modulation of copper metabolism and cuproptosis may facilitate improvement in cancer management. This review outlines the cellular and molecular mechanisms and characteristics of cuproptosis and the links of the novel regulated cell death modality with human cancers. We also review the current knowledge on the complex effects of cuproptosis on antitumor immunity and immune response. Furthermore, potential agents that elicit cuproptosis pathways are summarized. Lastly, we discuss the influence of cuproptosis induction on the tumor microenvironment as well as the challenges of adding cuproptosis regulators to therapeutic strategies beyond traditional therapy.
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