Oncogenic regulation and function of keratins 8 and 18

Cancer Metastasis Reviews
R G OshimaC Caulín

Abstract

Keratin 8 (K8) and keratin 18 (K18) are the most common and characteristic members of the large intermediate filament gene family expressed in 'simple' or single layer epithelial tissues of the body. Their persistent expression in tumor cells derived from these epithelia has led to the wide spread use of keratin monoclonal antibodies as aids in the detection and identification of carcinomas. Oncogenes which activate ras signal transduction pathways stimulate expression of the K18 gene through transcription factors including members of the AP-1 (jun and fos) and ETS families. The persistent expression of K8 and K18 may reflect the integrated transcriptional activation of such transcription factors and, in the cases of ectopic expression, an escape from the suppressive epigenetic mechanisms of DNA methylation and chromatin condensation. Comparison of the mechanisms of transcriptional control of K18 expression with expression patterns documented in both normal and pathological conditions leads to the proposal that persistent K8 and K18 expression is a reflection of the action of multiple different oncogenes converging on the nucleus through a limited number of transcription factors to then influence the expression of a large numbe...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

JUN gene
Monoclonal Antibodies
Tumor Cells, Uncertain Whether Benign or Malignant
Monoclonal antibodies, antineoplastic
DNA Methylation [PE]
Transcriptional Regulation
Neoplastic Cell
Keratin
LITAF gene
DNA Methylation

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