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Oncogene. 2001 Mar 29;20(14):1793-7.

Regulatory region of metastasis-inducing DNA is the binding site for T cell factor-4.

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Cancer and Polio Research Fund Laboratories, Molecular Medicine Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK.


Small 1000 bp fragments of DNA derived from human malignant breast cancer cells have been isolated which, when transfected into a benign rat mammary cell line induce the production of osteopontin and thereby endow those cells with the capability to metastasize in syngeneic rats. Using transient transfections of an osteopontin promoter-reporter construct, we have now identified the active moiety in the metastasis-inducing DNA as the binding site for the T cell factor (Tcf) family of transcription factors and located Tcf-4, beta-catenin and E-cadherin in the relevant DNA complex in vitro. The regulatory effects of the metastasis-inducing DNAs are therefore exerted, at least in part, by a CAAAG sequence which can sequester Tcf-4, thereby promoting transcription of the direct effector for metastasis in this system, osteopontin.

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