Roles of Grainyhead-like transcription factors in cancer

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Abstract

The mammalian homologs of the D. melanogaster Grainyhead gene, Grainyhead-like 1-3 (GRHL1, GRHL2 and GRHL3), are transcription factors implicated in wound healing, tubulogenesis and cancer. Their induced target genes encode diverse epithelial cell adhesion molecules, while mesenchymal genes involved in cell migration and invasion are repressed. Moreover, GRHL2 suppresses the oncogenic epithelial-mesencyhmal transition, thereby acting as a tumor suppressor. Mechanisms, some involving established cancer-related signaling/transcription factor pathways (for example, Wnt, TGF-β, mir200, ZEB1, OVOL2, p63 and p300) and translational implications of the Grainyhead proteins in cancer are discussed in this review article.

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