The unrecognized role of tumor suppressor genes in atrial fibrillation

Gene. 2018 Feb 5;642:26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2017.11.015. Epub 2017 Nov 7.


Epidemiogical evidence has shown that the incidence of atrial fibrillation in tumor patients is higher than non-tumor patients and general population. The potential risk factors predisposing tumor patients to atrial fibrillation include advanced age, comorbidities, direct anatomic local occupying effect of tumors in the heart or adjacent organs, paraneoplastic manifestations of some tumors, tumor-induced dys-regulation of metabolism, radio-, bio- and chemo-therapeutics, disturbance of autonomous nerve system because of physical pain and psychological sufferings, chronic inflammation typical of most tumors, and surgical interventions among others. However, whether tumor suppressor genes commonly mutated or dys-regulated in tumor play any roles in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation remain largely unexplored. Tumor suppressor genes or genes possessing tumor suppressing function have been reported to be constitutively expressed in quiescent heart, and mutations, small nucleotide polymorphisms, or disturbed expression of tumor suppressor genes has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation. Here, we provide a state-of-the-art overview of the unrecognized roles of tumor suppressor genes in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation, focusing mainly on the two well-characterized tumor suppressor genes, zinc finger homeobox protein-3 and esophageal cancer related gene-4.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Inflammation; Tumor; Tumor suppressor genes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism


  • ECRG4 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • ZFHX3 protein, human