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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 345219, 5 pages
Review Article

Gamma-Glutamylcyclotransferase: A Novel Target Molecule for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

1Department of Urology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Seta Tsukinowa-cho, Otsu, Shiga 520-2192, Japan
2Department of Clinical Oncology, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Misasagi-Nakauchicho 5, Yamashinaku, Kyoto 607-8414, Japan

Received 16 October 2014; Accepted 9 March 2015

Academic Editor: Tomáš Zima

Copyright © 2015 Susumu Kageyama 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.


Gamma-glutamylcyclotransferase (GGCT) is one of the major enzymes involved in glutathione metabolism. However, its gene locus was unknown for many years. Recently, the gene for GGCT was found to be identical to C7orf24, which is registered as a hypothetical protein. Orthologs have been found in bacteria, plants, and nematodes as well as higher organisms, and the GGCT gene is highly preserved among a wide range of species. GGCT (C7orf24) was also reported as an upregulated protein in various cancers. Although the function of GGCT in cancer cells has not been determined, the following important activities have been reported: (1) high expression in various cancer tissues and cancer cell lines, (2) low expression in normal tissues, (3) inhibition of cancer cell proliferation via anti-GGCT RNAi, (4) inhibition of cancer cell invasion and migration via anti-GGCT RNAi, (5) an epigenetic transcriptional regulation in cancer cells, and (6) an antitumor effect in cancer-bearing xenograft mice. Therefore, GGCT is promising as a diagnostic marker and a therapeutic target for various cancers. This review summarizes these interesting findings.