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Introduction and objective: E74-like transcription factor 3 (ELF3) is mainly expressed in epithelial tissue, being responsible for differentiation and regeneration. Furthermore, it plays a role in inflammation, remodeling, allergy regulation and apoptosis. Various studies on ELF3 conducted since 1997 have also proved its connection with carcinogenesis and metastasis. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding the role of ELF3 in the following cancers: ampullary, bladder, breast, gastric, hepatocellular, nasopharyngeal, thyroid, lung and ovarian ones.
State of knowledge: There are still many unresolved and undiscovered issues regarding ELF3 mutations, however, based on research since 2016, a link to many signaling pathways important for carcinogenesis has been shown. There is no simple correlation between a specific ELF3 mutation and effect on cancer cells. In various types of cancers, ELF3 is associated with other pathways, and modifications exerted by silencing or amplifying its or associated genes, cause different effects in patient prediction. An example of the effect of ELF3 on tumor progression is achieved by negatively regulating the ZEB1 transcription factor responsible for metastasis. WNT, RAS, Akt, mTOR, HER2, Cyclin D, IRF6 are other ELF3-related factors that affects pathways crucial for tumorigenesis.
Conclusions: Further research and attempts to use ELF3 in the treatment and prognosis of cancer appear to be beneficial
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