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Oncogene. 2001 Sep 27;20(43):6215-24.

HER2/Neu-mediated activation of the ETS transcription factor ER81 and its target gene MMP-1.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Guggenheim Building 1501A, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Graduate School, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


In this study, we show that the ETS transcription factor ER81 directly binds to and activates the promoter of the matrix metalloproteinase gene, MMP-1. Further, the oncoprotein HER2/Neu synergizes with ER81 to stimulate MMP-1 transcription. The activation of ER81 by HER2/Neu is mediated by MAP kinases, which phosphorylate ER81 in its N-terminal activation domain. Four respective phosphorylation sites have been identified. Blocking phosphorylation at these sites decreases ER81 transcriptional activity, which can be further diminished by abolishment of phosphorylation at two non-MAP kinase sites. Altogether, our results reveal mechanisms of how phosphorylation of ER81 regulates the expression of target genes such as MMP-1, which may be important for many physiological processes from embryogenesis to adulthood as well as for tumor metastasis.

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