Genetic changes through allelic loss and nucleic acid or protein modifications are the main contributors to loss of function of tumor suppressor proteins. In particular, epigenetic silencing of genes by promoter hypermethylation is associated with increased tumor severity and poor survival. The RASSF (Ras association domain family) family of proteins consists of 10 members, many of which are tumor suppressor proteins that undergo loss of expression through promoter methylation in numerous types of cancers such as leukemia, melanoma, breast, prostate, neck, lung, brain, colorectal and kidney cancers. In addition to their tumor suppressor function, RASSF proteins act as scaffolding agents in microtubule stability, regulate mitotic cell division, modulate apoptosis, control cell migration and cell adhesion, and modulate NFκB activity and the duration of inflammation. The ubiquitous functions of these proteins highlight their importance in numerous physiological pathways. In this review, we will focus on the biological roles of the RASSF family members and their regulation.
- Epigenesis, Genetic
- Protein Processing, Post-Translational
- Tumor Suppressor Proteins
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't