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Oncogene. 1998 Nov 12;17(19):2495-504.

Wild-type egr1/Krox24 promotes and dominant-negative mutants inhibit, pluripotent differentiation of p19 embryonal carcinoma cells.

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Institut du cancer de Montréal/Centre de Recherche Louis Charles Simard, Québec, Canada.


The zinc-finger transcription factor Krox24 was analysed for its role in differentiation in P19 embryonal carcinoma cells. Reciprocal dominant negative mutants consisting of Krox24 deleted for a crucial region of the zinc-finger domain (delta Krox24) or of the zinc-finger region alone (delta Krox24Zf) abolished the activation of transcription by Krox24 in P19 cells. Expression of Krox24 led to spontaneous differentiation of P19 cells in a lineage-independent fashion. Krox24 transfected populations, as well as individual clones randomly picked from them, displayed a wide array of diverse morphologies and expressed markers characteristic of a variety of differentiated cells. The dominant negative mutants blocked differentiation of P19 cells. We conclude that expression of Krox24 is sufficient for pluripotent differentiation of embryonal carcinoma cells, and that expression of Krox24 or other egr family members is essential to this process.

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