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MIF coordinates the cell cycle with DNA damage checkpoints. Lessons from knockout mouse models

Author(s): Fingerle-Rowson Günter | Petrenko Oleksi

Journal: Cell Division
ISSN 1747-1028

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a ubiquitously expressed pro-inflammatory mediator that has also been implicated in the process of oncogenic transformation and tumor progression. We used a genetic approach to show that deletion of the MIF gene in mice has several major consequences for the proliferative and transforming properties of cells. MIF-deficient cells exhibit increased resistance to oncogenic transformation. The transformation defects associated with MIF deficiency can be overcome through concomitant inactivation of the p53 and Rb/E2F tumor suppressor pathways. We have produced compelling evidence that the effects of MIF on cell survival and tumorigenesis are mediated through overlapping pathways, wherein MIF and p53 functionally antagonize each other in the cell. However, the involvement of MIF in p53 function is secondary to p53-independent mechanisms controlling protein stability, DNA damage checkpoints, and the integrity of the genome. Given the broad spectrum of cell types that normally express MIF and its elevated levels at sites of chronic inflammation, this pathway may be generic for many early stage tumors.
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