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

ETS target genes: identification of egr1 as a target by RNA differential display and whole genome PCR techniques.

ETS transcription factors play important roles in hematopoiesis, angiogenesis, and organogenesis during murine development. The ETS genes also have a role in neoplasia, for example in Ewing's sarcomas and retrovirally induced cancers. The ETS genes encode transcription factors that bind to specific DNA sequences and activate transcription of various cellular and viral genes. To isolate novel ETS target genes, we used two approaches. In the first approach, we isolated genes by the RNA differential display technique. Previously, we have shown that the overexpression of ETS1 and ETS2 genes effects transformation of NIH 3T3 cells and specific transformants produce high levels of the ETS proteins. To isolate ETS1 and ETS2 responsive genes in these transformed cells, we prepared RNA from ETS1, ETS2 transformants, and normal NIH 3T3 cell lines and converted it into cDNA. This cDNA was amplified by PCR and displayed on sequencing gels. The differentially displayed bands were subcloned into plasmid vectors. By Northern blot analysis, several clones showed differential patterns of mRNA expression in the NIH 3T3-, ETS1-, and ETS2-expressing cell lines. Sixteen clones were analyzed by DNA sequence analysis, and 13 of them appeared to be unique because their DNA sequences did not match with any of the known genes present in the gene bank. Three known genes were found to be identical to the CArG box binding factor, phospholipase A2-activating protein, and early growth response 1 (Egr1) genes. In the second approach, to isolate ETS target promoters directly, we performed ETS1 binding with MboI-cleaved genomic DNA in the presence of a specific mAb followed by whole genome PCR. The immune complex-bound ETS binding sites containing DNA fragments were amplified and subcloned into pBluescript and subjected to DNA sequence and computer analysis. We found that, of a large number of clones isolated, 43 represented unique sequences not previously identified. Three clones turned out to contain regulatory sequences derived from human serglycin, preproapolipoprotein C II, and Egr1 genes. The ETS binding sites derived from these three regulatory sequences showed specific binding with recombinant ETS proteins. Of interest, Egr1 was identified by both of these techniques, suggesting strongly that it is indeed an ETS target gene.[1]


  1. ETS target genes: identification of egr1 as a target by RNA differential display and whole genome PCR techniques. Robinson, L., Panayiotakis, A., Papas, T.S., Kola, I., Seth, A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
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