Transcription factors in development, growth, and aging

R. L. Vellanoweth, P. C. Supakar, A. K. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


With the limited examples described in this review, the central role played by TFs in governing the gross processes of development and growth has been illustrated. Although the data are still sketchy, it is becoming more apparent that TFs are also responsible for directing the genetic component of the aging program. The interactions among many defined, and some still undefined, regulatory proteins at promoters of all classes are thus the basis for all phenotypic outcomes in the whole of eucaryotic existence. Tissue- specific factors, constitutive factors, and basic TFs are all involved in the final determination of gene expression in all cell types. A complete understanding of the processes of development, growth, and aging will of necessity include an understanding of the molecular directors, the TFs. Although beyond the scope of this review, but certainly of interest to the reader, TFs gone awry are increasingly recognized as prime culprits in many human diseases, especially cancer. For example, members of the Jun family are involved in the development of fibrosarcoma (144); coactivators of MyoD are implicated in rhabdomyosarcomas (145); the RAR plays a role in certain leukemias (146), as does bcl-3; (116); Rel members initiate tumorigenesis (118, 119); a novel TF elevates the expression of protooncogene cerbB-2 receptor tyrosine kinase in 20% to 30% of breast cancers (147); a role for p53 is implicated in ataxiatalengiectasia (148) and is probably involved in more than half of all human cancer (88). Thus, targeting defective TFs and their regulators is certain to be a highly productive approach in the control of many human diseases (149).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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