Metastasis-associated protein 1/nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase complex in cancer

Da Qiang Li, Suresh B. Pakala, Sujit S. Nair, Jeyanthy Eswaran, Rakesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Cancer cells frequently exhibit deregulation of coregulatory molecules to drive the process of growth and metastasis. One such group of ubiquitously expressed coregulators is the metastasis-associated protein (MTA) family, a critical component of the nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase (NuRD) complex. MTA1 occupies a special place in cancer biology because of its dual corepressor or coactivator nature and widespread overexpression in human cancers. Here, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the vital roles of MTA1 on transformation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and the functions of key cancer-relevant molecules such as a nexus of multiple oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition to its paramount role in oncogenesis, we reveal several new physiologic functions of MTA1 related to DNA damage, inflammatory responses, and infection, in which MTA1 functions as a permissive "gate keeper" for cancer-causing parasites. Further, these discoveries unraveled the versatile multidimensional modes of action of MTA1, which are independent of the NuRD complex and/or transcription. Given the emerging roles of MTA1 in DNA repair, inflammation, and parasitism, we discuss the possibility of MTA1-targeted therapy for use not only in combating cancer but also in other inflammation and pathogen-driven pathologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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