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Cancer Cell. 2013 Jun 10;23(6):718-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.04.002.

NKX2-1/TTF-1: an enigmatic oncogene that functions as a double-edged sword for cancer cell survival and progression.

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Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Center for Neurological Diseases and Cancer, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.


Emerging evidence indicates that NKX2-1, a homeobox-containing transcription factor also known as TTF-1, plays a role as a "lineage-survival" oncogene in lung adenocarcinomas. In T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, gene rearrangements lead to aberrant expression of NKX2-1/TTF-1. Despite accumulating evidence supporting its oncogenic role, it has become apparent that NKX2-1/TTF-1 expression also has biological and clinical functions in the opposite direction that act against tumor progression. Herein, we review recent findings showing these enigmatic double-edged characteristics, with special attention given to the roles of NKX2-1/TTF-1 in lung development and carcinogenesis.

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