Identification of target genes of oncogenic transcription factors

Kathryn E. Boyd, Peggy J. Farnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Disregulation of many transcription factors is associated with the development of human neoplasia. Transcription factors regulate cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis by binding to specific DNA sequences within the promoter regions of growth-regulatory genes and modulating expression of these genes. This simple model is complicated by the fact that mammalian transcription factors are often members of large protein families that bind to similar DNA sequences. This raises the question as to whether members of a particular family regulate expression of overlapping or unique sets of genes. This review is focused on addressing this question using the Ets, Myc, and E2F transcription factor families as examples. Deregulated activity of some, but not all, members of these families is observed in cancer. Here, we summarize the data illustrating the concept that binding of individual members of these families of factors can result in promoter-specific responses and review the studies that have provided some insight into how target gene specificity is achieved. Since, for all of these oncogenic transcription factors, it remains unclear exactly which target genes are important in neoplasia, we have also reviewed the many approaches researchers are using to identify target genes of the various Ets, Myc, and E2F family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-28
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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