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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2001 Aug;48 Suppl 1:S35-40.

Oncogenic mechanisms of Evi-1 protein.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Japan.


Although Evi-1 is thought to promote growth or block differentiation in some cell types, its biological functions have not been elucidated. To explore the mechanisms underlying Evi-1-induced oncogenesis, we investigated whether Evi-1 affects the signaling of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), which inhibits proliferation of a wide range of cell types and is one of the most studied growth regulatory factors. We demonstrated that Evi-1 represses TGF-beta signaling and antagonizes its growth-inhibitory effects. Two separate regions of Evi-1 are responsible for this repression, one of which is the first zinc-finger domain. Through this domain, Evi-1 physically interacts with Smad3, an intracellular mediator of TGF-beta signaling, thereby suppressing the transcriptional activity of Smad3. These results define a novel function of Evi-1 as a repressor of signaling components of TGF-beta. We also demonstrated that Evi-1 represses Smad-induced transcriptional activation by recruiting CtBP as a corepressor. Evi-1 associates with CtBP1 through one of the CtBP-binding consensus motifs within the region from amino acid 544 to 607, and this association is required for the efficient inhibition of TGF-beta signaling. A specific histone deacetylase (HDAc) inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA), alleviates Evi-1-mediated repression of TGF-beta signaling, suggesting that HDAc is involved in transcriptional repression by Evi-1. This identifies a novel function of Evi-1 as a member of corepressor complexes and suggests that aberrant recruitment of corepressors is one of the mechanisms involved in Evi-1-induced leukemogenesis. These results indicate that specific HDAc inhibitors may be useful in the treatment of Evi-1-induced neoplastic tumors, including myeloid leukemias.

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