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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The receptor RAGE: Bridging inflammation and cancer

Astrid Riehl, Julia Németh, Peter Angel* and Jochen Hess

Author Affiliations

German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Division of Signal Transduction and Growth Control (A100), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

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Cell Communication and Signaling 2009, 7:12  doi:10.1186/1478-811X-7-12

Published: 8 May 2009

Abstract

The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a single transmembrane receptor of the immunoglobulin superfamily that is mainly expressed on immune cells, neurons, activated endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, bone forming cells, and a variety of cancer cells. RAGE is a multifunctional receptor that binds a broad repertoire of ligands and mediates responses to cell damage and stress conditions. It activates programs responsible for acute and chronic inflammation, and is implicated in a number of pathological diseases, including diabetic complications, stroke, atheriosclerosis, arthritis, and neurodegenerative disorders. The availability of Rage knockout mice has not only advanced our knowledge on signalling pathways within these pathophysiological conditions, but also on the functional importance of the receptor in processes of cancer. Here, we will summarize molecular mechanisms through which RAGE signalling contributes to the establishment of a pro-tumourigenic microenvironment. Moreover, we will review recent findings that provide genetic evidence for an important role of RAGE in bridging inflammation and cancer.