ARF is a tumor suppressor protein that has a pivotal role in the prevention of cancer development through regulating cell proliferation, senescence, and apoptosis. As a factor that induces senescence, the role of ARF as a tumor suppressor is closely linked to the p53-MDM2 axis, which is a key process that restrains tumor formation. Thus, many cancer cells either lack a functional ARF or p53, which enables them to evade cell oncogenic stress-mediated cycle arrest, senescence, or apoptosis. In particular, the ARF gene is a frequent target of genetic and epigenetic alterations including promoter hypermethylation or gene deletion. However, as many cancer cells still express ARF, pathways that negatively modulate transcriptional or post-translational regulation of ARF could be potentially important means for cancer cells to induce cellular proliferation. These recent findings of regulators affecting ARF protein stability along with its low levels in numerous human cancers indicate the significance of an ARF posttranslational mechanism in cancers. Novel findings of regulators stimulating or suppressing ARF function would provide new therapeutic targets to manage cancer-and senescence-related diseases. In this review, we present the current knowledge on the regulation and alterations of ARF expression in human cancers, and indicate the importance of regulators of ARF as a prognostic marker and in potential therapeutic strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology