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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Mar 15;291(5):1138-45.

Transcriptional regulation of the human tumor suppressor p14(ARF) by E2F1, E2F2, E2F3, and Sp1-like factors.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, General and Molecular Biology, University of Naples Federico II, via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Naples, Italy.


The human ARF/INK4a locus encodes two cell cycle inhibitors, p16(INK4a) and p14(ARF), by using separate promoters. A variety of mitogenic stimuli upregulate ARF but a direct modulation at the transcriptional level has been reported only for E2F-1. We show here that the ARF promoter is strongly responsive also to E2F2 and E2F3, thus providing a strong support to their suggested role in the induction of apoptosis. Through the usage of both deletion mutants and/or site-directed mutants, we surprisingly found that none of the four putative E2F consensus sites is strictly necessary for the upregulation of ARF expression, as a minimal deletion mutant, lacking all the putative E2F binding sites, is still transactivated by E2F. Moreover, our data suggest that the ARF promoter is regulated by E2F through both direct binding to the promoter sequences and indirectly, probably by being tethered to the ARF promoter by Sp1-like factors.

(C)2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

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