The RUNX genes: gain or loss of function in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 May;5(5):376-87. doi: 10.1038/nrc1607.


The RUNX genes have come to prominence recently because of their roles as essential regulators of cell fate in development and their paradoxical effects in cancer, in which they can function either as tumour-suppressor genes or dominant oncogenes according to context. How can this family of transcription factors have such an ambiguous role in cancer? How and where do these genes impinge on the pathways that regulate growth control and differentiation? And what is the evidence for a wider role for the RUNX genes in non-haematopoietic cancers?

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Core Binding Factor alpha Subunits
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oncogenes
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • Core Binding Factor alpha Subunits
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta