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Sarcoma. 2011;2011:837474. doi: 10.1155/2011/837474. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The Two Faces of the FUS/EWS/TAF15 Protein Family.

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Children's Cancer Research Institute, St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


FUS, EWS, and TAF15 form the FET family of RNA-binding proteins whose genes are found rearranged with various transcription factor genes predominantly in sarcomas and in rare hematopoietic and epithelial cancers. The resulting fusion gene products have attracted considerable interest as diagnostic and promising therapeutic targets. So far, oncogenic FET fusion proteins have been regarded as strong transcription factors that aberrantly activate or repress target genes of their DNA-binding fusion partners. However, the role of the transactivating domain in the context of the normal FET proteins is poorly defined, and, therefore, our knowledge on how FET aberrations impact on tumor biology is incomplete. Since we believe that a full understanding of aberrant FET protein function can only arise from looking at both sides of the coin, the good and the evil, this paper summarizes evidence for the central function of FET proteins in bridging RNA transcription, processing, transport, and DNA repair.

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