Wrong place, wrong time: Runt-related transcription factor 2/SATB2 pathway in bone development and carcinogenesis

Yusha Zhu, Angelica Ortiz, Max Costa
Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
DOI: 10.4103/jcar.JCar_22_20

Upregulation or aberrant expression of genes such as special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 2 (SATB2) is necessary for normal cell differentiation and tissue development and is often associated with carcinogenesis and metastatic progression. SATB2 is a critical transcription factor for biological development of various specialized cell lineages, such as osteoblasts and neurons. The dysregulation of SATB2 expression has recently been associated with various types of cancer, while the mechanisms and pathways by which it mediates tumorigenesis are not well elucidated. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is a master regulator for osteogenesis, and it shares common pathways with SATB2 to regulate bone development. Interestingly, these two transcription factors co-occur in several epithelial and mesenchymal cancers and are linked by multiple cancer-related proteins and microRNAs. This review examines the interactions between RUNX2 and SATB2 in a network necessary for normal bone development and the circumstances in which the expression of RUNX2 and SATB2 in the wrong place and time leads to carcinogenesis.

Keywords: Carcinogenesis, microRNA, osteogenesis, Runt-related transcription factor 2, SATB2