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Molecular Enzymology and Drug Targets

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Abstract

The Crucial Roles of Enzymes Belonging to Signal Transduction Pathways. Old Molecules as New Therapy Molecular Targets. Approaches, Perspectives and Criticisms

Vincenza Rita Lo Vasco

The crucial roles of Enzymes belonging to signal transduction pathways. Old molecules as new therapy molecular targets. Approaches, perspectives and criticisms. Since last ten years the observation that most of the human diseases can be considered “signaling diseases” was corroborated by many reports. In this perspective, increasing evidences demonstrated a crucial role for “signaling enzymes”, the wide number of enzymes involved in specific steps of signal transduction pathways. Many different families of enzymes are involved in a variety of signal transduction pathways. In a signaling system, enzymes are main actors which play important roles, regulating the metabolism and concentration of further signaling molecules. Thus, different families of enzymes regulate a wide number of cell or tissue activities. As one example, enzymes belonging to the Phosphoinositide-specific Phospholipase C (PLC) family were reported to be involved in many key functions such as intra-cellular signaling, membrane trafficking, nuclear signaling based on lipid hydrolysis in response to a wide panel of stimuli, including growth factors, hormones, and neurotransmitters, that act on specific receptors localized at the plasma membrane.