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Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(6):395-8. Epub 2001 Oct 1.

Update on HER-2 as a target for cancer therapy: the ERBB2 promoter and its exploitation for cancer treatment.

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ICRF Molecular Oncology Unit, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


Overexpression of the ERBB2 proto-oncogene is associated with amplification of the gene in breast cancer but increased activity of the promoter also plays a significant role. Members of two transcription factor families (AP-2 and Ets) show increased binding to the promoter in over-expressing cells. Consequently, strategies have been devised to target promoter activity, either through the DNA binding sites for these factors, or through another promoter sequence, a polypurine-polypyrimidine repeat structure. The promoter has also been exploited for its tumour-specific activity to direct the accumulation of cytotoxic compounds selectively within cancer cells. Our current understanding of the ERBB2 promoter is reviewed and the status of these therapeutic avenues is discussed.

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