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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 476789, 11 pages
Review Article

The Functional Role of MnSOD as a Biomarker of Human Diseases and Therapeutic Potential of a New Isoform of a Human Recombinant MnSOD

Molecular Biology and Viral Oncology Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori “Fondazione G. Pascale”—IRCCS, Naples, Italy

Received 9 October 2013; Accepted 19 November 2013; Published 6 January 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Lina Tornesello

Copyright © 2014 Antonella Borrelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated as a consequence of metabolic reactions in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. This work describes the role of the manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) as a biomarker of different human diseases and proposes a new therapeutic application for the prevention of cancer and its treatment. The paper also describes how a new form of human MnSOD was discovered, its initial application, and its clinical potentials. The MnSOD isolated from a human liposarcoma cell line (LSA) was able to kill cancer cells expressing estrogen receptors, but it did not have cytotoxic effects on normal cells. Together with its oncotoxic activity, the recombinant MnSOD (rMnSOD) exerts a radioprotective effect on normal cells irradiated with X-rays. The rMnSOD is characterized by the presence of a leader peptide, which allows the protein to enter cells: this unique property can be used in the radiodiagnosis of cancer or chemotherapy, conjugating radioactive substances or chemotherapic drugs to the leader peptide of the MnSOD. Compared to traditional chemotherapic agents, the drugs conjugated with the leader peptide of MnSOD can selectively reach and enter cancer cells, thus reducing the side effects of traditional treatments.