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Am J Med Genet Suppl 1990 Jan 01;7:251-61. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320370751.
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ETS family of genes in leukemia and Down syndrome.

Papas TS , Watson DK , Sacchi N , Fujiwara S , Seth AK , Fisher RJ , Bhat NK , Mavrothalassitis G , Koizumi S , Jorcyk CL .

The human ETS2 and ERG genes are members of the ETS gene family, with sequence homology to the viral ets gene of the avian erythroblastosis retrovirus, E26. These genes are located on chromosome 21 and molecular genetic analysis of Down syndrome (DS) patients with partial trisomy 21 suggested that ETS2 may be a gene within the minimal DS genetic region. We have, in fact, been able to confirm the presence of the ETS2 gene dosage in triplicate occurring in occult human 21 chromosome abnormalities. It is known that ERG and ETS2 gene translocations occur in certain specific leukemias associated with defined chromosome rearrangements [e.g., t(8;21)]. Moreover, it is known that DS individuals are at greater risk for leukemic disease than their normal familial cohorts, implying that trisomy of that region of human chromosome 21 may play a role in the development of this type of neoplasia. The human ETS genes, first identified in our laboratory, are highly conserved, being found from lower organisms, like Drosophila and sea urchin, to humans. In mammals, the ETS genes are structurally distinct, located on separate chromosomes; they are transcriptionally active and differentially regulated. The ETS2 protein is phosphorylated and turns over with a half-life of approximately 20 min. After activation with the tumor promoter, TPA, the level of ETS2 elevates 5- to 20-fold. The properties of the ETS2 protein, such as nuclear localization, phosphorylation, rapid turnover, and response to protein kinase C, indicate that this protein belongs to a group of oncogene proteins thought to have regulatory functions in the nucleus. In the mouse thymus ets-1 and ets-2 are 8-10-fold higher, respectively, in the CD4+ subset than in other subsets examined, suggesting a role in T-cell development for these genes. Cells transfected with the cellular ets-2 gene, expressing higher levels of ets-2 products, showed a stimulated proliferation response, abolished their serum requirement and formed colonies in soft agar that could induce tumors in nude mice. Collectively, these data suggest that this family of genes might play a role in controlling specific steps of the signaling transduction pathway. Thus, the ETS genes, as other genes with homology to viral oncogenes, might be instrumental in regulating cellular growth and differentiation, as well as organismal development.

PubMed ID: 2149958
Article link: Am J Med Genet Suppl

Genes referenced: erg LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC580966 LOC586799 LOC590751 pkcl2