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Gene. 2004 Jan 7;324:1-14.

Ets ternary complex transcription factors.

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Institut de Génétique et Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, 1 rue Laurent Fries, BP 101142, CNRS, INSERM, ULP, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, France.


The three ternary complex factors (TCFs) Elk-1, Net and Sap-1 form a subfamily of the E twenty-six (Ets) domain transcription factors. Their characteristic property is the ability to form a ternary nucleoprotein complex with the serum response factor (SRF) over the serum response element (SRE) of the c-fos promoter. The molecular mechanisms that underlie the function and regulation of these factors have been extensively studied and the TCFs are a paradigm for the study of transcriptional regulation in response to extracellular signalling through the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. As final effectors of multiple signalling pathways and components of protein complexes on immediate early promoters, they represent key elements in the complex and dynamic regulation of gene expression. This review summarises the molecular, structural and biochemical studies that have led to the understanding of the functional domains of the TCFs, ternary complex formation, transcriptional regulation, protein partners and target genes in cell lines. Finally, the emerging studies of the biological roles of the TCFs in vivo will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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