A novel epithelial-expressed ETS gene, ELF3: human and murine cDNA sequences, murine genomic organization, human mapping to 1q32.2 and expression in tissues and cancer

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The ETS family of genes are implicated in cancers such as Ewings sarcoma, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myelomoncytic leukemia. Further, they have important functions in embryonic development. Hence, identification and characterization of members of this family are important. We identify a novel ETS family member, ELF3, and report its human and murine cDNA sequences. The mouse cDNA has an alternatively spliced transcript with an extra 60 bp inserted. Hence we present the organization of the murine Elf3 gene together with its exon/intron structure. This gene consists of 9 exons and 8 introns spanning 4.8 kb. ELF3 binds and transactivates ETS sequences and interestingly also shows the ability to bind a GGAT-like purine core, a preferential ETS1/ETS2 type binding site. The expression of ELF3, unlike most other ETS family members, is absent in hematopoietic cells and hematopoietic organs in humans and mice. Intriguingly, the gene is specifically expressed in cell lines of epithelial origin and in organs such as lung, stomach, intestine, kidney that have specialized epithelial cells. We localize the human gene to 1q32.2, a region that is amplified in epithelial tumors of the breast, lung and prostate. Finally, we show that ELF3 expression is increased in a lung carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, as compared to normal tissue. ELF3 is also expressed in cell lines derived from lung cancers. These results suggest that this novel ETS gene may be involved in lung tumorigenesis.

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Correspondence to Ismail Kola.

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  • transcription factor
  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • ETS
  • ELF
  • prostate cancer

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