BMB Reports 2018; 51(11): 557-562
Potential roles of reactive oxygen species derived from chemical substances involved in cancer development in the female reproductive system
Soo-Min Kim, Kyung-A Hwang* & Kyung-Chul Choi *
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea
Correspondence to: Kyung-Chul Choi, Tel: +82-43-261-3664; Fax: +82-43-267-3150; E-mail:; Kyung-A Hwang, Tel: +82-43-249-1745; Fax: +82-43-267-3150; E-mail:
Received: March 18, 2018; Revised: April 10, 2018; Accepted: June 18, 2018; Published online: November 30, 2018.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

cc This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are major sources of cellular oxidative stress. Specifically, cancer cells harbor genetic alterations that promote a continuous and elevated production of ROS. While such oxidative stress conditions could be harmful to normal cells, they facilitate cancer cell growth in multiple ways by causing DNA damage and genomic instability, and ultimately by reprogramming cancer cell metabolism. This review provides up to date findings regarding the roles of ROS generation induced by diverse biological molecules and chemicals in representative women’s cancer. Specifically, we describe the cellular signaling pathways that regulate direct or indirect interactions between ROS homeostasis and metabolism within female genital cancer cells.
Keywords: Apoptosis, Cancer development, Choriocarcinoma cell, Ovarian and endometrial cancers, Reactive oxygen species
Fig. 1. Relationship between ROS production and cancer cell development. Initiation, the first step among three stages in cancer, maintains the homeostasis of ROS against imbalance of ROS and regulates protein kinases, which have diverse cellular functions. Promotion, the second step, is related to DNA damage and induction of mutations appearing in the cellular signaling pathway. Progression, the third step, appears to activate EMTrelated genes and other intracellular signaling pathway markers. Therefore, the generation of ROS is crucial to the three developmental stages of cancer; initiation, promotion, and progression.

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