Human FOXP3 and cancer

Oncogene. 2010 Jul 22;29(29):4121-9. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.174. Epub 2010 May 24.


FOXP3 is a transcription factor necessary and sufficient for induction of the immunosuppressive functions in regulatory T lymphocytes. Its expression was first considered as specific of this cell type, but FOXP3 can also be transiently expressed in T-cell antigen receptor-activated human nonregulatory T cells. Recent data indicate that FOXP3 is also expressed by some nonlymphoid cells, in which it can repress various oncogenes that are restored following FOXP3 deletion or mutation. This review summarizes major advances in (1) the understanding of Foxp3 functions in human regulatory T cells, (2) the prognostic significance of Foxp3-expressing T cells in human malignancies and (3) the significance of Foxp3 expression in human tumor cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors