Activator protein-2 (AP-2) transcription factors are involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis. AP-2alpha has been suggested to function as a tumor suppressor in many cancers and AP-2gamma to be a marker of testicular and germ cell malignancies. At least 3 of the 5 AP-2 family members identified to date, AP-2alpha, AP-2beta and AP-2gamma, are known to be expressed in breast tissue and thought to coordinate the growth and development of the breast via regulation of several breast-related genes such as human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) and estrogen receptor (ER). The function of AP-2alpha seems to be tumor suppressive in breast tissue, whereas the role of the other AP-2 family members is less well known. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of AP-2 in carcinogenesis, especially in breast cancer.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.