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Mol Cell Biol. Sep 1994; 14(9): 5920–5928.
PMCID: PMC359118

Two pathways for serum regulation of the c-fos serum response element require specific sequence elements and a minimal domain of serum response factor.

Abstract

The c-fos serum response element (SRE) is necessary and sufficient for induction of the c-fos gene in response to serum and growth factors. This activation is dependent upon serum response factor (SRF), a transcriptional activator which binds the SRE. A factor, p62TCF, which binds in conjunction with SRF to the SRE and which is activated by mitogen-activated protein kinase, has also been implicated in c-fos regulation. By using a reporter gene system with weak SRE mutations that is dependent upon overexpression of SRF for serum induction, we have found that there are at least two pathways for serum induction that converge on the SRE. Loss of TCF binding by mutations in SRF and the SRE did not reduce serum induction of the reporter genes. We have found a pathway for serum induction that is sensitive to mutations in the A/T-containing central sequence of the SRE and which is independent of TCF. When this pathway was mutated, activation was dependent upon TCF binding, demonstrating that TCF can also function in serum induction. Both of the signalling pathways required a minimal domain of SRF. This domain, spanning SRF's DNA binding domain, was sufficient for serum induction when fused to a heterologous transcriptional activation domain.

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Selected References

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