Table 1.

Key Molecular Players Linking Cancer to Inflammation

Potential linkersFunctions in linking inflammation to cancerRefs.
Cytokines
    IL-6Promote tumor growth(99, 102)
    TNF-αInduce DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair(108)
Promote tumor growth(2, 104, 109)
Induce angiogenic factors(110)
    ChemokinesPromote tumor cell growth(3)
Facilitate invasion and metastasis by directing tumor cell migration and promoting basement membrane degradation(19, 115-119)
NF-κBMediate inflammation progress, promoting chronic inflammation(134, 135, 142)
Promote the production of mutagenic reactive oxygen species(128)
Protect transformed cells from apoptosis(157, 158)
Promote tumor invasion and metastasis(5, 160)
Feedback loop between proinflammatory cytokines(135, 136)
iNOSDownstream of NF-κB and proinflammatory cytokines(130, 163)
Induce DNA damage and disrupt DNA damage response(108, 166)
Regulate angiogenesis and metastasis(167)
COX-2Produce inflammation mediator prostaglandins(6, 171)
Promote cell proliferation, antiapoptotic activity, angiogenesis, and metastasis(175-181)
HIF-1αPromote chronic inflammation(194, 195)
Induced by proinflammatory cytokines through NF-κB(83, 196, 197)
Enhance the glycolytic activity of cancer cells(198)
Contribute to angiogenesis, tumor invasion, and metastasis by transactivating VEGF(198)
STAT3Activated by proinflammatory cytokines(199, 200)
Promote proliferation, apoptosis resistance, and immune tolerance(201, 202)
Nrf2Anti-inflammatory activity(204-206)
Protect against DNA damage(208, 210, 211)
NFATRegulate proinflammatory cytokine expression(212-215)
Required in cell transformationYan and Huang, unpublished data