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Oncogene. 1998 Dec 3;17(22):2901-13.

Structure and transcriptional regulation of BKJ, a novel AP-1 target gene activated during jun- or fos-induced fibroblast transformation.

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Institute of Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


The BKJ gene was originally identified based on its specific transcriptional activation in jun-transformed avian fibroblasts. We now show that BKJ is a direct transcriptional target of the AP-1 transcription factor components Jun and Fos. The complete structural organization of the quail BKJ gene was determined by nucleotide sequence analysis and transcriptional mapping. The gene contains three exons with the coding region confined to the third exon. A major mRNA species of 0.8 kb and a minor one of 1.3 kb are produced by variable usage of two transcriptional initiation sites. The BKJ promoter region contains two authentic AP-1 binding sites. By transactivation of reporter gene constructs and direct binding of Jun recombinant protein, the proximal AP-1 element was shown to be essential for BKJ promoter activation. Using polyclonal antiserum directed against recombinant BKJ protein, the activation of BKJ in jun-transformed avian fibroblasts was also demonstrated at the protein level. BKJ is a novel gene related to the avian beta-keratin gene family whose members display highly specific expression patterns during embryogenesis and epidermal development. Activation of BKJ in fibroblasts by retroviral or deregulated cellular jun or fos alleles may contribute to cell transformation.

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