The transcription factor Egr1 is a direct regulator of multiple tumor suppressors including TGFbeta1, PTEN, p53, and fibronectin

Cancer Gene Ther. 2006 Feb;13(2):115-24. doi: 10.1038/sj.cgt.7700896.


Recent studies are reviewed indicating that the transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr1) is a direct regulator of multiple tumor suppressors including TGFbeta1, PTEN, p53, and fibronectin. The downstream pathways of these factors display multiple nodes of interaction with each other, suggesting the existence of a functional network of suppressor factors that serve to maintain normal growth regulation and resist the emergence of transformed variants. Paradoxically, Egr1 is oncogenic in prostate cancer. In the majority of these cancers, PTEN or p53 is inactive. It is suggested that these defects in the suppressor network allow for the unopposed induction of TGFbeta1 and fibronectin, which favor transformation and survival of prostate tumor epithelial cells, and explain the role of Egr1 in prostate cancer. Egr1 is a novel and logical target for intervention by gene therapy methods, and targeting methods are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Growth Response Protein 1 / genetics
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fibronectins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism*
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1


  • EGR1 protein, human
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Fibronectins
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human