alexa The RASSF proteins in cancer; from epigenetic silencing to functional characterization.
Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Clinical & Medical Biochemistry

Author(s): Richter AM, Pfeifer GP, Dammann RH

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Abstract The Ras-Association Domain Family (RASSF) comprises ten members, termed RASSF1 to RASSF10. RASSF1 to RASSF6 harbor a C-terminal Ras-association (RA) domain and RASSF7 to RASSF10 contain an N-terminal RA domain. Interestingly, it was observed that in various tumor types distinct RASSFs transcripts (e.g. RASSF1A and RASSF2A) are missing due to hypermethylation of their CpG island promoter. Since methylation of the RASSF1A promoter is described as an early and frequent event in tumorigenesis, RASSF1A could serve as a useful diagnostic marker in cancer screens. RASSFs are implicated in various cellular mechanisms including apoptosis, cell cycle control and microtubule stabilization, though little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Tumor suppressing functions were reported for several members. Here we review the current literature on RASSF members focusing on structural, functional and epigenetic aspects. Characterizing the cellular mechanisms that regulate the signaling pathways RASSFs are involved in, could lead to a deeper understanding of tumor development and, furthermore, to new strategies in cancer treatment. This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta and referenced in Clinical & Medical Biochemistry

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