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Hum Mol Genet. 1995 Dec;4(12):2219-26.

Oncogenic conversion of a novel orphan nuclear receptor by chromosome translocation.

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Génétique des Tumeurs, Institut Curie, Paris, France.


A recurrent t(9;22) (q22;q12) chromosome translocation has been described in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC). Fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments performed on one EMC tumour indicated that the chromosome 22 breakpoint occurred in the EWS gene. Northern blot analysis revealed an aberrant EWS transcript which is cloned by a modified RT-PCR procedure. This transcript consists of an in-frame fusion of the 5' end of EWS to a previously unidentified gene, which was named TEC. This fusion transcript was detected in six of eight EMC studied, and three different junction types between the two genes were found. In all junction types, the putative translation product contained the amino-terminal transactivation domain of EWS linked to the entire TEC protein. Homology analysis showed that the predicted TEC protein contains a DNA-binding domain characteristic of nuclear receptors. The highest identity scores were observed with the NURR1 family of orphan nuclear receptors. These receptors are involved in the control of cell proliferation and differentiation by modulating the response to growth factors and retinoic acid. This work provides, after the PML/RAR alpha gene fusion, the second example of the oncogenic conversion of a nuclear receptor and the first example involving the orphan subfamily. Analysis of the disturbance induced by the EWS/TEc protein in the nuclear receptor network and their target genes may lead to new approaches for EMC treatment.

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