Conserved functions of the pRB and E2F families

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;9(9):713-24. doi: 10.1038/nrm2469.


Proteins that are related to the retinoblastoma tumour suppressor pRB and the E2F transcription factor are conserved in many species of plants and animals. The mammalian orthologues of pRB and E2F are best known for their roles in cell proliferation, but it has become clear that they affect many biological processes. Here we describe the functions of pRB-related proteins and E2F proteins that have emerged from genetic and biochemical experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. The similarities that have been observed between worms, flies and mammals provide insight into the core activities of pRB and E2F proteins and show how a common regulatory module can control various biological functions in different organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA Replication
  • E2F Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism*


  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • Retinoblastoma Protein