This gene is a member of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family. The product of this gene is a DNA-binding protein with a REL-homology region (RHR) and an NFAT-homology region (NHR). This protein is present in the cytosol and only translocates to the nucleus upon T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation, where it becomes a member of the nuclear factors of activated T cells transcription complex. This complex plays a central role in inducing gene transcription during the immune response. Alternate transcriptional splice variants, encoding different isoforms, have been characterized.
NFAT transcription factors are implicated in breast cancer, more specifically in the process of cell motility at the basis of metastasis formation. Indeed, NFAT1 (NFATC2) is pro-invasive and pro-migratory in breast carcinoma.
To increase cell motility NFAT1 up-regulates the gene of the Lipocalin 2 expression and modulate the TWEAKR/TWEAK axis.
Translocation forming an in frame fusions product between EWSR1 gene and the NFATc2 gene has been described in bone tumor with a Ewing sarcoma-like clinical appearance. The translocation breakpoint led to the loss of the controlling elements of the NFATc2 protein and the fusion of the N terminal region of the EWSR1 gene conferred constant activation of the protein.
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