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    Gold compounds have been employed throughout history to treat various types of disease, from ancient times to the present day. In the year 1985, auranofin, a gold-containing compound, was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapeutic agent to target rheumatoid arthritis that would facilitate easy oral drug administration as opposed to conventional intramuscular injection used in treatments. Furthermore, auranofin demonstrates promising results for the treatment of various diseases beyond rheumatoid arthritis, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and bacterial and parasitic infections. Various potential novel applications for auranofin have been proposed for treating human diseases. Auranofin has previously been demonstrated to inhibit thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) involved within the thioredoxin (Trx) system that comprises one of the critical cellular redox systems within the body. TrxR comprises the sole known enzyme that catalyzes Trx reduction. With cancers in particular, TrxR inhibition facilitates an increase in cellular oxidative stress and suppresses tumor growth. In this review, we describe the potential of auranofin to serve as an anticancer agent and further drug repurposing to utilize this as a strategy for further appropriate drug developments.


    Isao Momose, Takefumi Onodera, Manabu Kawada. Potential Anticancer Activity of Auranofin]. Yakugaku zasshi : Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 2021;141(3):315-321

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    PMID: 33642497

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