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Am J Pathol. 1992 Jan;140(1):119-27.

c-ets1 proto-oncogene is a transcription factor expressed in endothelial cells during tumor vascularization and other forms of angiogenesis in humans.

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  • 1UnitĂ© d'Oncologie MolĂ©culaire, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France.


The c-ets1 proteins are transcriptional activators expressed within endothelial cells during blood vessel development in chick embryos. The authors show by in situ hybridization that c-ets1 is transcribed in the endothelia during angiogenesis in human embryos, in granulation tissue, and especially during tumor vascularization. c-ets1 mRNAs were also detected in the fibrocytes of tumor stroma and in the spindle cells of Kaposi's sarcomas, regarded as cells of endothelial origin. It has been shown that the c-ets proteins activate transcription through a PEA3 motif that plays a role in the stimulation of transcription of urokinase-type plasminogen-activator (u-PA), stromelysin and collagenase genes. The authors demonstrate in vitro that the angiogenic factor TNF alpha increases transiently the amount of both c-ets1 and u-PA mRNA in confluent human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Therefore, the authors suggest that the c-ets1 proteins might regulate the transcription of the genes coding for matrix-degrading proteases, which are necessary for both angiogenesis and tumor invasion.

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