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Adv Cancer Res. 2013;119:1-61. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-407190-2.00001-0.

Understanding the role of ETS-mediated gene regulation in complex biological processes.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.


Ets factors are members of one of the largest families of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors, regulating critical functions in normal cell homeostasis, which when perturbed contribute to tumor progression. The well-documented alterations in ETS factor expression and function during cancer progression result in pleiotropic effects manifested by the downstream effect on their target genes. Multiple ETS factors bind to the same regulatory sites present on target genes, suggesting redundant or competitive functions. The anti- and prometastatic signatures obtained by examining specific ETS regulatory networks will significantly improve our ability to accurately predict tumor progression and advance our understanding of gene regulation in cancer. Coordination of multiple ETS gene functions also mediates interactions between tumor and stromal cells and thus contributes to the cancer phenotype. As such, these new insights may provide a novel view of the ETS gene family as well as a focal point for studying the complex biological control involved in tumor progression. One of the goals of molecular biology is to elucidate the mechanisms that contribute to the development and progression of cancer. Such an understanding of the molecular basis of cancer will provide new possibilities for: (1) earlier detection, as well as better diagnosis and staging of disease; (2) detection of minimal residual disease recurrences and evaluation of response to therapy; (3) prevention; and (4) novel treatment strategies. Increased understanding of ETS-regulated biological pathways will directly impact these areas.


Cancer; ETS; Regulation; Target genes; Transcription factors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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