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Oncogene. 2000 Dec 18;19(55):6524-32.

Proteins of the ETS family with transcriptional repressor activity.

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School of Medicine, University of Crete and IMBB-FORTH, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete 714-09, Greece.


ETS proteins form one of the largest families of signal-dependent transcriptional regulators, mediating cellular proliferation, differentiation and tumorigenesis. Most of the known ETS proteins have been shown to activate transcription. However, four ETS proteins (YAN, ERF, NET and TEL) can act as transcriptional repressors. In three cases (ERF, NET and TEL) distinct repression domains have been identified and there are indications that NET and TEL may mediate transcription via Histone Deacetylase recruitment. All four proteins appear to be regulated by MAPKs, though for YAN and ERF this regulation seems to be restricted to ERKs. YAN, ERF and TEL have been implicated in cellular proliferation although there are indications suggesting a possible involvement of YAN and TEL in differentiation as well. Other ETS-domain proteins have been shown to repress transcription in a context specific manner, and there are suggestions that the ETS DNA-binding domain may act as a transcriptional repressor. Transcriptional repression by ETS domain proteins adds an other level in the orchestrated regulation by this diverse family of transcription factors that often recognize similar if not identical binding sites on DNA and are believed to regulate critical genes in a variety of biological processes. Definitive assessment of the importance of this novel regulatory level will require the identification of ETS proteins target genes and the further analysis of transcriptional control and biological function of these proteins in defined pathways.

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