CROX (Cluster Regulation of RUNX) as a Potential Novel Therapeutic Approach
Yasuhiko Kamikubo*
Department of Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
Received November 14, 2019; Accepted December 12, 2019.; Published online January 23, 2020.
© Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

Comprehensive inhibition of RUNX1, RUNX2, and RUNX3 led to marked cell suppression compared with inhibition of RUNX1 alone, clarifying that the RUNX family members are important for proliferation and maintenance of diverse cancers, and “cluster regulation of RUNX (CROX)” is a very effective strategy to suppress cancer cells. Recent studies reported by us and other groups suggested that wild-type RUNX1 is needed for survival and proliferation of certain types of leukemia, lung cancer, gastric cancer, etc. and for their one of metastatic target sites such as born marrow endothelial niche, suggesting that RUNX1 often functions oncogenic manners in cancer cells. In this review, we describe the significance and paradoxical requirement of RUNX1 tumor suppressor in leukemia and even solid cancers based on recent our findings such as “genetic compensation of RUNX family transcription factors (the compensation mechanism for the total level of RUNX family protein expression)”, “RUNX1 inhibition-induced inhibitory effects on leukemia cells and on solid cancers through p53 activation”, and “autonomous feedback loop of RUNX1-p53-CBFB in acute myeloid leukemia cells”. Taken together, these findings identify a crucial role for the RUNX cluster in the maintenance and progression of cancers and suggest that modulation of the RUNX cluster using the pyrrole-imidazole polyamide gene-switch technology is a potential novel therapeutic approach to control cancers.
Keywords: CROX, gene-switch technology

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31 January 2020 Volume 43,
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