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The transcription factor ATF5: role in cellular differentiation, stress responses, and cancer.

  • Author(s): Sears, Thomas K
  • Angelastro, James M
  • et al.

Activating transcription factor 5 (ATF5) is a cellular prosurvival transcription factor within the basic leucine zipper (bZip) family that is involved in cellular differentiation and promotes cellular adaptation to stress. Recent studies have characterized the oncogenic role of ATF5 in the development of several different types of cancer, notably glioblastoma. Preclinical assessment of a systemically deliverable dominant-negative ATF5 (dnATF5) biologic has found that targeting ATF5 results in tumor regression and tumor growth inhibition of glioblastoma xenografts in mouse models. In this review, we comprehensively and critically detail the current scientific literature on ATF5 in the context of cellular differentiation, survival, and response to stressors in normal tissues. Furthermore, we will discuss how the prosurvival role of ATF5 aides in cancer development, followed by current advances in targeting ATF5 using dominant-negative biologics, and perspectives on future research.

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