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The evolutionarily conserved T-box family of transcription factors have critical and well-established roles in embryonic development. More recently, T-box factors have also gained increasing prominence in the field of cancer biology where a wide range of cancers exhibit deregulated expression of T-box factors that possess tumour suppressor and/or tumour promoter functions. Of these the best characterised is TBX2, whose expression is upregulated in cancers including breast, pancreatic, ovarian, liver, endometrial adenocarcinoma, glioblastomas, gastric, uterine cervical and melanoma. Understanding the role and regulation of TBX2, as well as other T-box factors, in contributing directly to tumour progression, and especially in suppression of senescence and control of invasiveness suggests that targeting TBX2 expression or function alone or in combination with currently available chemotherapeutic agents may represent a therapeutic strategy for cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochimica et biophysica acta

Publication Date





380 - 391


Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa.


Animals, Humans, Neoplasms, DNA Damage, T-Box Domain Proteins, Signal Transduction