Calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9): a key protein between inflammation and cancer

  • Fatemeh Shabani
  • Alireza Farasat
  • Majid Mahdavi
  • Nematollah Gheibi



Calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9), a heterodimeric EF-hand Ca2+ binding protein, are abundant in cytosol of neutrophils and are involved in inflammatory processes and several cancerous pathogens.


The purpose of the present systematic review is to evaluate the pro- and anti-tumorigenic functions of calprotectin and its relation to inflammation.

Materials and methods

We conducted a review of studies published in the Medline (1966–2018), Scopus (2004–2018), (2008–2018) and Google Scholar (2004–2018) databases, combined with studies found in the reference lists of the included studies.


Elevated levels of S100A8/S100A9 were detected in inflammation, neoplastic tumor cells and various human cancers. Recent data have explained that many cancers arise from sites of infection, chronic irritation, and inflammation. The inflammatory microenvironment which largely includes calprotectin, has an essential role on high producing of inflammatory factors and then on neoplastic process and metastasis.


Scientists have shown different outcomes in inflammation, malignancy and apoptosis whether the source of the aforementioned protein is extracellular or intracellular. These findings are offering new insights that anti-inflammatory therapeutic agents and anti-tumorigenic functions of calprotectin can lead to control cancer development.


Calprotectin S100A8/S100A9 Inflammation Cancer Apoptosis 



This work was supported by the Deputy of Research and Technology, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences., Qazvin, Iran.

Author contributions

All authors contributed equally in this work.


The authors declare no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  2. 2.Cellular and Molecular Research CenterQazvin University of Medical SciencesQazvinIran

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