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Cell. 2007 Jun 29;129(7):1275-86. Epub 2007 Jun 14.

FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important repressor of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene.

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Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, Ohio State University Medical Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

Erratum in

  • Cell. 2008 Aug 8;134(3):546.


The X-linked Foxp3 is a member of the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor family. Germline mutations cause lethal autoimmune diseases in males. Serendipitously, we observed that female mice heterozygous for the "scurfin" mutation of the Foxp3 gene (Foxp3(sf/+)) developed cancer at a high rate. The majority of the cancers were mammary carcinomas in which the wild-type Foxp3 allele was inactivated and HER-2/ErbB2 was overexpressed. Foxp3 bound and repressed the HER-2/ErbB2 promoter. Deletion, functionally significant somatic mutations, and downregulation of the FOXP3 gene were commonly found in human breast cancer samples and correlated significantly with HER-2/ErbB2 overexpression, regardless of the status of HER-2 amplification. Our data demonstrate that FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important regulator of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene.

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