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The Retinoblastoma Protein: Functions Beyond the G1-S Regulator

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Retinoblastoma protein (pRB) is functionally inactivated in a large number of tumors including retinoblastoma, osteosarcoma, small-cell lung carcinoma, as well as bladder, breast and prostate cancers. The best known role of pRB in preventing cancer is inhibition of cell cycle progression by controlling the exit from the cell cycle into G0/G1. In addition, increasing evidence has suggested that pRB has important roles in DNA replication during S phase and G2/M transition. The tumor suppressor function of pRB has also been demonstrated by directly promoting differentiation via cell cycle exit with specific gene expression. Inactivation of pRB function during these cell cycle phases leads to dysregulated cell proliferation and/or chromosomal instability, which are strongly linked to cancer development. Thus pRB plays important roles through multiple functions in determining cell fate, i.e., normal growth/death and differentiation, or tumor formation. Therapeutic intervention by reactivation of pRB function would be expected to be an effective treatment against various cancers.
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Keywords: Cancer; DNA replication; E2F; G1-S Regulator; cell cycle; cyclin dependent kinase; gene expression; inactivation; pRB; retinoblastoma protein

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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