Aerobic organisms possess numerous antioxidant enzymatic families, including catalases, superoxide dismutases (SODs), peroxiredoxins (PRDXs), and glutathione peroxidases (GPXs), which work cooperatively to protect cells from an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from endogenous metabolism or external microenvironment. Catalase, as well as other antioxidant enzymes, plays an important dichotomous role in cancer. Therefore, therapies aimed at either reverting the increased or further escalating catalase levels could be effective, depending on the metabolic landscape and on the redox status of cancer cells. This dichotomous role of catalase in cancers highlights the importance to deepen comprehensively the role and the regulation of this crucial antioxidant enzyme. The present review highlights the role of catalase in cancer and provides a comprehensive description of the molecular mechanisms associated with the multiple levels of catalase regulation.
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