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Overstimulation of pro‑proliferative pathways and high level expression of pro‑proliferative transcription factors (TFs) can lead to apoptosis. This is likely due to TF binding sites for pro‑proliferative TFs common to pro‑proliferative and pro‑apoptosis‑effector genes. Certain clinical datasets have indicated that molecular markers associated with higher proliferation rates lead to improved outcomes for patients with cancer. These observations have been extensively assessed on a general basis, however there has been little work dissecting feed‑forward apoptosis signaling pathways that may represent specific distinctions between a pro‑proliferative mechanism and a pro‑apoptotic mechanism in samples from patients with cancer. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas datasets and bioinformatic approaches, the present study reports that higher FOS expression levels, along with higher FOS target apoptosis‑effector gene expression, is associated with an increased survival, while higher POU2F1 expression is associated with a reduced survival (average difference of 25.9 months survival). In summary, in the datasets examined FOS represents an apoptosis‑driver and high POU2F1 represents a driver mechanism for cancer development.

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Oncology Letters, v. 16, issue 2, p. 2757-2763

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