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Oncogene. 1989 Jan;4(1):3-11.

Transcription activation by serum, PDGF, and TPA through the c-fos DSE: cell type specific requirements for induction.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.


We have investigated the sequences that are necessary and sufficient for the induction of the c-fos gene by serum, TPA or PDGF in different cell types. The dyad symmetry element (DSE) is a regulatory element of the c-fos gene previously shown to be required for induction of c-fos transcription by serum. We show that the DSE is also necessary for the induction of c-fos by either TPA or PDGF in NIH3T3 cells. We also show that in NIH 3T3 cells the DSE is sufficient to confer inducibility on a heterologous promoter, the beta-globin promoter, when serum provides the stimulus. However, it is not sufficient when either TPA or PDGF is the inducer. This suggests a requirement in 3T3 cells for cooperating sequence elements for TPA or PDGF induction but not for serum. Interestingly, the need for cooperating elements for TPA induction is abolished in HeLa cells since the DSE alone is sufficient for TPA inducibility of the beta-globin promoter in these cells. Thus, the highly transformed HeLa cell line displays diminished sequence requirements for TPA induction. We discuss the possibility that mutations which diminish the stringent transcriptional control of protooncogenes such as c-fos may contribute to the transformed state.

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