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Functional role of post-translational modifications of Sp1 in tumorigenesis

Wen-Chang Chang12345 and Jan-Jong Hung1234

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

2 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

3 Institute of Bioinformatics and Biosignal Transduction, College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

4 Center for Infection Diseases and Signal Transduction Research, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, 701, Taiwan

5 Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:94  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-94

Published: 14 November 2012


Specific protein 1 (Sp1), the first transcription factor to be isolated, regulates the expression of numerous genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Recent studies found that an increase in Sp1 transcriptional activity is associated with the tumorigenesis. Moreover, post-translational modifications of Sp1, including glycosylation, phosphorylation, acetylation, sumoylation, ubiquitination, and methylation, regulate Sp1 transcriptional activity and modulate target gene expression by affecting its DNA binding activity, transactivation activity, or protein level. In addition, recent studies have investigated several compounds with anti-cancer activity that could inhibit Sp1 transcriptional activity. In this review, we describe the effect of various post-translational modifications on Sp1 transcriptional activity and discuss compounds that inhibit the activity of Sp1.