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Cancer Biol Ther. 2008 Dec;7(12):1867-74. Epub 2008 Dec 8.

Apoptosis and tumor resistance conferred by Par-4.

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Department of Radiation Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


Par-4 is a tumor suppressor protein with a pro-apoptotic function. Epigenetic silencing of Par-4 is seen in diverse tumors and Par-4 knockout mice develop spontaneous tumors in various tissues. Endogenous Par-4 is essential for sensitization of cells to diverse apoptotic stimuli, whereas ectopic expression of Par-4 can selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. The cancer-specific pro-apoptotic action of Par-4 resides in its centrally located SAC domain. This review emphasizes the role of Par-4/SAC in apoptosis and tumor resistance. SAC transgenic mice display normal development and life span, and, most importantly, are resistant to spontaneous, as well as oncogene-induced, autochthonous tumors. The tumor resistant phenotype and undetectable toxicity of SAC in vivo suggests the SAC domain possesses tremendous therapeutic potential.

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