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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

BMI1 is a target gene of E2F-1 and is strongly expressed in primary neuroblastomas.

The oncogene BMI1 encodes a polycomb group transcription factor that is required for embryonic development and self-renewal of stem cells. Despite these important functions little is known about the regulation of BMI1 expression. A cDNA microarray based search for target genes of E2F-1 in neuroblastoma cells expressing a 4-OHT- regulated E2F-1-ER fusion protein identified many hitherto unknown E2F-1 regulated genes. A total of 10% of these genes, including BMI1, encode proteins that function primarily in the regulation of gene expression. The BMI1 promoter contains a putative E2F binding site that was required for the activation of a BMI1 promoter-dependent reporter construct by E2F-1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed 4-OHT-dependent binding of E2F-1-ER and binding of endogenous E2F-1 to the BMI1 promoter in tumor cells. We have previously shown activation of the oncogene MYCN by E2F. Thus, in neuroblastomas deregulated E2F-1 can activate two oncogenes, MYCN and BMI1 that are known to co-operate in tumor formation. Consistent with a role of Bmi1 in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis we found strong Bmi1 expression in primary neuroblastomas. Our results reveal a novel link between E2F and polycomb transcription factors and suggest a role of Bmi1 in neuroblastomas.[1]


  1. BMI1 is a target gene of E2F-1 and is strongly expressed in primary neuroblastomas. Nowak, K., Kerl, K., Fehr, D., Kramps, C., Gessner, C., Killmer, K., Samans, B., Berwanger, B., Christiansen, H., Lutz, W. Nucleic Acids Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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