The "Janus" Role of C/EBPs Family Members in Cancer Progression

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10 Citations (Scopus)


CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs) constitute a family of transcription factors composed of six members that are critical for normal cellular differentiation in a variety of tissues. They promote the expression of genes through interaction with their promoters. Moreover, they have a key role in regulating cellular proliferation through interaction with cell cycle proteins. C/EBPs are considered to be tumor suppressor factors due to their ability to arrest cell growth (contributing to the terminal differentiation of several cell types) and for their role in cellular response to DNA damage, nutrient deprivation, hypoxia, and genotoxic agents. However, C/EBPs can elicit completely opposite effects on cell proliferation and cancer development and they have been described as both tumor promoters and tumor suppressors. This "Janus" role of C/EBPs depends on different factors, such as the type of tumor, the isoform/s expressed in cells, the type of dimerization (homo- or heterodimerization), the presence of inhibitory elements, and the ability to inhibit the expression of other tumor suppressors. In this review, we discuss the implication of the C/EBPs family in cancer, focusing on the molecular aspects that make these transcription factors tumor promoters or tumor suppressors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4308-4325
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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