E2F, the principal target of the tumor suppressor pRB, plays crucial roles in tumor suppression. Upon dysfunction of pRB, E2F activates tumor suppressor genes such as ARF, an upstream activator of the tumor suppressor p53, resulting in the induction of apoptosis and tumor suppression. The E2F activity that activates the tumor suppressor genes is detected only in cancer cells and not in normal growing cells. The E2F activity can drive selective suicide gene expression and induce apoptosis specifically in cancer cells. Thus, the E2F activity provides a beneficial tool to specifically target cancer cells in cancer treatment.
Part of the book: Gene Expression and Regulation in Mammalian Cells