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.
Recommended CitationKong, Deguang; Liu, Yu; Liu, Qian; Han, Na; Zhang, Cuntai; Pestell, Richard G.; Wu, Kongming; and Wu, Gaosong, "The retinal determination gene network: from developmental regulator to cancer therapeutic target." (2016). Department of Medical Oncology Faculty Papers. Paper 54.
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