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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 710213, 8 pages
Review Article

Thyroid-Specific Transcription Factors and Their Roles in Thyroid Cancer

Laboratory of Metabolism, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 14 January 2011; Accepted 17 February 2011

Academic Editor: Daniel Christophe

Copyright © 2011 Shioko Kimura. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Homeodomain, forkhead domain, and paired domain-containing transcription factors play a major role in development, tissue-specific gene expression, and tissue homeostasis in organs where they are expressed. Recently, their roles in stem cell and cancer biology are emerging. In the thyroid, NKX2-1, FOXE1, and PAX8 transcription factors are responsible for thyroid organogenesis and expression of thyroid-specific genes critical for thyroid hormone synthesis. In contrast to their known roles in gene regulation, thyroid development and homeostasis, their involvement in stem cell, and/or cancer biology are still elusive. In order to further understand the nature of thyroid cancer, it is critical to determine their roles in thyroid cancer.