Transcription factors: Time to deliver

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Transcription factors (TFs) are at the center of the broad regulatory network orchestrating gene expression programs that elicit different biological responses. For a long time, TFs have been considered as potent drug targets due to their implications in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. At the same time, TFs, located at convergence points of cellular regulatory pathways, are powerful tools providing opportunities both for cell type change and for managing the state of cells. This task formulation requires the TF modulation problem to come to the fore. We review several ways to manage TF activity (small molecules, transfection, nanocarriers, protein-based approaches), analyzing their limitations and the possibilities to overcome them. Delivery of TFs could revolutionize the biomedical field. Whether this forecast comes true will depend on the ability to develop convenient technologies for targeted delivery of TFs.

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