Author | Edward A. Sausville, MD, PhD


Use of Transcription Factors as Agents and Targets for Drug Development

October 01, 1996

Cancer is a genetic disease wherein mutations of growth regulatory genes result in abnormal proliferative capacity, recognized clinically as the occurrence of a malignant tumor. Transcription factors govern the expression of genes, be they "housekeeping" or regulatory. These factors organize the first crucial step in establishing the function of the gene, namely, the transcription of information in DNA into messenger RNA (mRNA). Translation of mRNA results in the synthesis of the oncogenic protein. Hence, the design of therapeutic agents targeted at transcription factors regulating the initial flow of "bad" information from "damaged" genes should be the ultimate goal of efforts to develop new weapons in the therapeutic armamentarium of the oncologist and, indeed, the general internist.