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Dev Biol. 2008 Jan 15;313(2):492-500. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Worming out the biology of Runx.

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  • 1Genetics Unit, Biochemistry Department, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.


Runx family transcription factors have risen to prominence over the last few years because of the increasing evidence implicating them as key regulators of the choice between cell proliferation and differentiation during development and carcinogenesis. Runx factors have been found to be involved in diverse developmental processes, ranging from hematopoiesis to neurogenesis, and are increasingly being linked with various human cancers. In this review, we examine the case for Runx factors as key regulators of cell proliferation in various developmental situations, a role that predisposes Runx mutations as causative agents in oncogenesis. We discuss the evidence that Runx factors regulate, and are regulated by, core components of the cell cycle machinery, and focus our attention on the solo Runx gene, rnt-1, in Caenorhabditis elegans, an organism that we feel has much to offer the Runx field.

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