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Transcription factors in colorectal cancer: molecular mechanism and therapeutic implications

A Correction to this article was published on 09 February 2021

This article has been updated

Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of cancer mortality worldwide, however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of CRC remain largely unclear. Recent studies have revealed crucial roles of transcription factors in CRC development. Transcription factors essential for the regulation of gene expression by interacting with transcription corepressor/enhancer complexes and they orchestrate downstream signal transduction. Deregulation of transcription factors is a frequent occurrence in CRC, and the accompanying drastic changes in gene expression profiles play fundamental roles in multistep process of tumorigenesis, from cellular transformation, disease progression to metastatic disease. Herein, we summarized current and emerging key transcription factors that participate in CRC tumorigenesis, and highlighted their oncogenic or tumor suppressive functions. Moreover, we presented critical transcription factors of CRC, emphasized the major molecular mechanisms underlying their effect on signal cascades associated with tumorigenesis, and summarized of their potential as molecular biomarkers for CRC prognosis therapeutic response, as well as drug targets for CRC treatment. A better understanding of transcription factors involved in the development of CRC will provide new insights into the pathological mechanisms and reveal novel prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for CRC.

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Fig. 1: The activation and regulation mechanisms of oncogenic transcription factors in CRC.
Fig. 2: The role of tumor suppressive transcription factors in CRC.

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Acknowledgements

This project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (81802331, 81772501), Research Grants Council-General Research Fund (RGC-GRF; 14101917, 14108718, 14163817 and 14110819), Hong Kong; Heath and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) (06170686).

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HX and LL drafted the manuscript. LL, CCW, and JY commented on and revised the manuscript. WLL and CCW revised the manuscript. DWZ and LFW commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Lei Liu or Lifu Wang or Chi Chun Wong.

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Xu, H., Liu, L., Li, W. et al. Transcription factors in colorectal cancer: molecular mechanism and therapeutic implications. Oncogene 40, 1555–1569 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41388-020-01587-3

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