Pathogenesis and regulation of cellular proliferation in acute lymphoblastic leukemia - the role of Ikaros

J BUON. 2014 Jan-Mar;19(1):22-8.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of leukemia of childhood. Over the last 50 years there have been tremendous scientific advances in understanding the pathogenesis and the mechanisms that control cellular proliferation in ALL. These discoveries led to the development of efficient therapeutic regimens that greatly improved survival of children with ALL. Recently, several genes have been demonstrated to play a key role in tumor suppression and that their deregulation leads to malignant transformation and can affect overall survival. This review summarizes the role of Ikaros (IKZF1) in tumor suppression and regulation of gene expression in leukemia. Deletions and/or mutations of Ikaros have been detected in a large percentage of pediatric and adult ALL and reduced Ikaros function has been associated with poor outcome in ALL. Ikaros function in chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation of gene transcription emphasizes the important role of this protein in controlling cellular proliferation. In this review, we particularly focus on the role of signaling pathways in the regulation of Ikaros activity and its transcriptional control in leukemia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Child
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Ikaros Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • Ikaros Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Signal Transduction*


  • IKZF1 protein, human
  • Ikaros Transcription Factor