Dynamic Interactions of Transcription Factors and Enhancer Reprogramming in Cancer Progression

Emily Zboril, Hannah Yoo, Lizhen Chen, Zhijie Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


While improved tumor treatment has significantly reduced the overall mortality rates, invasive progression including recurrence, therapy resistance and metastasis contributes to the majority of deaths caused by cancer. Enhancers are essential distal DNA regulatory elements that control temporal- or spatial-specific gene expression patterns during development and other biological processes. Genome-wide sequencing has revealed frequent alterations of enhancers in cancers and reprogramming of distal enhancers has emerged as one of the important features for tumors. In this review, we will discuss tumor progression-associated enhancer dynamics, its transcription factor (TF) drivers and how enhancer reprogramming modulates gene expression during cancer invasive progression. Additionally, we will explore recent advancements in contemporary technology including single-cell sequencing, spatial transcriptomics and CUT&RUN, which have permitted integrated studies of enhancer reprogramming in vivo. Given the essential roles of enhancer dynamics and its drivers in controlling cancer progression and treatment outcome, understanding these changes will be paramount in mitigating invasive events and discovering novel therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number753051
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021


  • cancer progression
  • enhancers
  • epigenetics
  • metastasis
  • therapy resistance
  • transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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