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Transferrin Receptor Serves as a Potential Target for Cancer Therapy

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Tian Tang, Jinhan Yang, Siyuan Jing


Transferrin receptor (TfR) is a glycoprotein that transfers iron from the extracellular matrix to the intracellular environment. Due to the rapid proliferation need, the demand for iron in cancer cells is much greater than in normal cells, possibly explaining the upregulated TfR expression in cancer cells. The overexpression of TfR and its extracellular accessibility, ability to internalize, and central role in cancer cell make this receptor a potential target for antibody-mediated therapy. The TfR can be targeted indirectly by antibodies conjugated to anti-cancer agents or directly through the use of antibodies that disrupt the function of the receptor and induce Fc-mediated effector functions. This article reviews the developments of antibody-based cancer therapy targeting TfR.


Transferrin receptor, Malignant cells, Iron transfer

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