The Ets proteins are a family of transcription factors characterized by an evolutionarily conserved DNA-binding domain and have diverse biological functions including tumor suppressor as well as tumor promoter functions. They are regulated via a complex and diverse number of mechanisms and control key cellular processes. Prostate-derived Ets transcription factor (PDEF), a unique member of the ETS family, is present in tissues with high epithelial content are hormone-regulated, such as prostate, breast, salivary glands, ovaries, colon, airways, and stomach tissues. PDEF (prostate-derived Ets factor) is also referred to as SPDEF (SAM pointed domain containing Ets transcription factor), PSE (mouse homolog), or hPSE (human PSE) in the literature and is the sole member of the PDEF ETS sub-family. The role of PDEF in cancer development is still not fully elucidated though. The present article focuses on the key findings about the PDEF’s biological functions, interacting proteins, and its target genes. There is a strong urge to focus on the clinical studies in larger cohort, which elucidate the regulation of PDEF and its target genes, to determine the potential of PDEF as biomarker. Based on the studies discussed in the present article, one can anticipate that PDEF offers a great potential for developing therapeutics against cancer.
- Tumor suppressor