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PPAR Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 749073, 8 pages
Review Article

Screening for PPAR Responsive Regulatory Modules in Cancer

Life Sciences Research Unit, University of Luxembourg, 1511 Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Received 25 March 2008; Accepted 5 May 2008

Academic Editor: Dipak Panigrahy

Copyright © 2008 Merja Heinäniemi and Carsten Carlberg. 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.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have via their large set of target genes a critical impact on numerous diseases including cancer. Cancer development involves numerous regulatory cascades that drive the progression of the malignancy of the cells. On a genomic level, these pathways converge on regulatory modules, some of which contain colocalizing PPAR binding sites (PPREs). We developed an in silico screening method that incorporates experiment- and informatics-derived evidence for a more reliable prediction of PPREs and PPAR target genes. This method is based on DNA-binding data of PPAR subtypes to a panel of DR1-type PPREs and tracking the enrichment of binding sites from multiple species. The ability of PPAR to induce cellular differentiation and the existence of FDA-approved PPAR agonists encourage the exploration of possibilities to activate or inactivate PPRE containing modules to arrest cancer progression. Recent advances in genomic techniques combined with computational analysis of binding modules are discussed in the review with the example of our recent screen for PPREs on human chromosome 19.