Nuclear factor of activated T cells in cancer development and treatment

Cancer Lett. 2015 Jun 1;361(2):174-84. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.03.005. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Since nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) was first identified as a transcription factor in T cells, various NFAT isoforms have been discovered and investigated. Accumulating studies have suggested that NFATs are involved in many aspects of cancer, including carcinogenesis, cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, drug resistance and tumor microenvironment. Different NFAT isoforms have distinct functions in different cancers. The exact function of NFAT in cancer or the tumor microenvironment is context dependent. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of NFAT regulation and function in cancer development and treatment. NFATs have emerged as a potential target for cancer prevention and therapy.

Keywords: Calcineurin; Drug resistance; Metastasis; NFAT; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Humans
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Isoforms
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Protein Isoforms