TTF1 / NKX2.1 - An essential regulator of lung development with implications in cancer diagnostics

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 14:35

Thyroid transcription factor 1 (TTF-1), also known as NKX2.1, is a conserved master regulatory transcription factor involved in the development of the lung, brain, and thyroid (1). In the lung TTF-1 positively regulates the expression of several lung-specific proteins including thyroglobulin, thyroperoxidase, and surfactant proteins A, B, and C (1). TTF-1’s control of this transcriptional network is important for the terminal differentiation of various lung cell lineages (1). Detection of the nuclear TTF-1 through immunostaining with TTF-1 antibodies has served an important role in dissecting the protein’s function during the morphogenesis and differentiation of epithelial lung cells (2). In addition to its normal function in differentiation, TTF-1 is also implicated in various lung diseases with abnormal expression leading to respiratory dysfunction (1). In cancers, the lineage specific expression of TTF-1 was thought to serve as a marker for the diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer by immunostaining with TTF-1 antibodies (1). Initial research showed some diagnostic value for TTF-1 antibodies by distinguishing metastatic pulmonary from extrapulmonary adenocarcinoma (3). However, more recent studies have used TTF-1 antibodies to demonstrate TTF-1 protein expression in a wide array of cancers types including prostate, bladder, and cervical (4). While the diagnostic value of TTF-1 expression may be limited, a recent meta-analysis of non-small cell lung cancer patients examined specimens immunostained with TTF-1 antibodies and revealed that TTF-1 overexpression indicates highly favorable patient outcomes (5). Together these studies demonstrate the need for further examination of TTF-1 expression in pathological conditions and also the need to understand the biological functions and mechanisms of TTF-1. TTF-1 is hypothesized to function as a proto-oncogene however its function in tumorigenesis is still unclear (1). Understanding TTF-1 in differentiation and disease may provide future insight for new therapeutic strategies.

Novus Biologicals offers TTF1 / NKX2.1 reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 19037882
  2. 8813084
  3. 11836702
  4. 10757334
  5. 25661085

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