IRF4: Immunity. Malignancy! Therapy?

Clin Cancer Res. 2009 May 1;15(9):2954-61. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1845. Epub 2009 Apr 21.


IRF4, a member of the Interferon Regulatory Factor (IRF) family of transcription factors, is expressed in cells of the immune system, where it transduces signals from various receptors to activate or repress gene expression. IRF4 expression is a key regulator of several steps in lymphoid-, myeloid-, and dendritic-cell differentiation, including the differentiation of mature B cells into antibody-secreting plasma cells. IRF4 expression is also associated with many lymphoid malignancies, with recent evidence pointing to an essential role in multiple myeloma, a malignancy of plasma cells. Interference with IRF4 expression is lethal to multiple myeloma cells, irrespective of their genetic etiology, making IRF4 an "Achilles' heel" that may be exploited therapeutically.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology*
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / physiology*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology


  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • interferon regulatory factor-4