Post-translational modifications influence transcription factor activity: a view from the ETS superfamily

Bioessays. 2005 Mar;27(3):285-98. doi: 10.1002/bies.20198.


Transcription factors provide nodes of information integration by serving as nuclear effectors of multiple signaling cascades, and thus elaborate layers of regulation, often involving post-translational modifications, modulating and coordinate activities. Such modifications can rapidly and reversibly regulate virtually all transcription factor functions, including subcellular localization, stability, interactions with cofactors, other post-translational modifications and transcriptional activities. Aside from analyses of the effects of serine/threonine phosphorylation, studies on post-translational modifications of transcription factors are only in the initial stages. In particular, the regulatory possibilities afforded by combinatorial usage of and competition between distinct modifications on an individual protein are immense, and with respect to large families of closely related transcription factors, offer the potential of conferring critical specificity. Here we will review the post-translational modifications known to regulate ETS transcriptional effectors and will discuss specific examples of how such modifications influence their activities to highlight emerging paradigms in transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases