Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a multifunctional protein regulating both gene transcription and
protein modifications. Recent studies reveal a proliferative role of YY1 in oncogenesis. Consistently,
YY1 overexpression has been observed in various human malignancies and its levels correlate with
poor prognoses of many types of cancers. In this review, we focus on the signaling pathways and
regulatory proteins that YY1 modulates to promote tumor cell growth, proliferation, migration and
metastasis. We also discuss the signals and molecules that regulate YY1 expression and function in
cancer-related context. Based on the expression feature and regulatory activities in tumor cells, YY1
possesses a great potential as a biomarker for many cancers and can serve as a therapeutic target clinically to impede
cancer development and progression or sensitize cancer cells to anticancer drugs.
Keywords: Gene expression, oncogene, protein interaction, therapeutic target, tumorigenesis, Yin Yang 1.
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