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Oncogene. 1991 Dec;6(12):2285-9.

erg, an ets-related gene, codes for sequence-specific transcriptional activators.

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Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140.


E26 is a replication-defective avian acute leukemia virus which causes erythroblastosis and myeloblastosis in chickens. It carries two distinct oncogenes, v-myb and v-ets, both of which contribute to its transforming properties. Several genes related to the ets oncogene (c-ets-1, ets-2, erg, elk-1, elk-2, PU.1/Spi-1, E74 and Fli-1) have been described. Previously we have shown that the erg gene (ets-related gene) codes for at least two proteins (erg-1 and erg-2) because of alternative splicing and alternative usage of the initiation codon. We have expressed erg-1 and erg-2 proteins in Escherichia coli and have used these recombinant proteins to show that they bind to DNA in a sequence-specific manner. erg proteins exhibited different sequence specificity and affinity for the oligonucleotides recognized by c-ets-1, ets-2, some of PU.1/Spi-1 and elk-1, suggesting that the DNA-binding specificities of erg and other members may overlap but are not necessarily identical. The erg gene was found to transactivate a reporter gene that was linked to erg target sequences. These results suggest that erg-1 and erg-2 are sequence-specific transcriptional activators like the other members of the ets oncogene superfamily which represent a distinct class of transcriptional activators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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