The retinal determination gene network: from developmental regulator to cancer therapeutic target
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Deguang Kong1,2,*, Yu Liu3,*, Qian Liu1, Na Han1, Cuntai Zhang3, Richard G. Pestell4,5, Kongming Wu1 and Gaosong Wu2
1 Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhang University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R. China
2 Department of Thyroid and Breast Surgery, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhang University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R. China
3 Department of Geriatrics, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R. China
4 Department of Cancer Biology, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
5 Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
* These authors have contributed equally to this work
Kongming Wu, email:
Gaosong Wu, email:
Keywords: DACH, EYA, SIX, tumor growth, prognosis
Received: March 20, 2016 Accepted: April 28, 2016 Published: May 17, 2016
Although originally identified for its function in Drosophila melanogaster eye specification, the Retinal Determination Gene Network (RDGN) is essential for the development of multiple organs in mammals. The RDGN regulates proliferation, differentiation and autocrine signaling, and interacts with other key signaling pathways. Aberrant expression of RDGN members such as DACH, EYA and SIX contributes to tumor initiation and progression; indeed, the levels of RDGN members are clinically prognostic factors in various cancer types. Stimulation or suppression of the activities of these crucial components can block cancer cell proliferation, prevent cancer stem cell expansion and even reverse the EMT process, thereby attenuating malignant phenotypes. Thus, cancer therapeutic interventions targeting RDGN members should be pursued in future studies.
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