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Future Oncol. 2009 Sep;5(7):993-1003. doi: 10.2217/fon.09.67.

Is EGR1 a potential target for prostate cancer therapy?

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The Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92121, USA. 19429708


Prostate cancer is a major cause of cancer-related death in American men, for which finding new therapeutic strategies remains a challenge. Early growth response-1 (EGR1) is a transcription factor involved in cell proliferation and in the regulation of apoptosis. Although it has long been considered a tumor suppressor, a wealth of new evidence shows that EGR1 promotes the progression of prostate cancer. This review addresses the paradoxes of EGR1 function. While EGR1 mediates apoptosis in response to stress and DNA damage by regulating a tumor suppressor network, it also promotes the proliferation of prostate cancer cells by a mechanism that is not fully understood. Thus, EGR1 might be targeted for prostate cancer therapy either by ectopic expression in combination with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or by direct inhibition for systemic treatment. Possible strategies to antagonize EGR1 function in a therapeutic setting are discussed.

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