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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Dec 19;377(3):832-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.10.053. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Epiregulin expression by Ets-1 and ERK signaling pathway in Ki-ras-transformed cells.

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  • 1Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayng-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea.


Epiregulin belongs to the epidermal growth factor family, binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor, and its expression is upregulated in various cancer cells, but the regulatory mechanism is unclear. We investigated the regulatory mechanism of epiregulin expression in Ki-ras-transformed cancer cells. In 267B1/Ki-ras cells, the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway was constitutively activated, epiregulin was up-regulated, and the expression and phosphorylation of Ets-1 were augmented. The inhibition of ERK by PD98059 decreased epiregulin and Ets-1 expression and suppressed the growth of 267B1/Ki-ras cells. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that Ets-1 was bound to human epiregulin promoter, and this binding was abolished by PD98059. Silencing of Ets-1 by RNA interference decreased cellular epiregulin transcript expression. We suggest that the Ki-ras mutation in 267B1 prostate cells constitutively activates the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway and induces the activation of the Ets-1 transcription factor, ultimately leading to the increased expression of epiregulin.

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