The SRE: a growth factor responsive transcriptional regulator

Semin Cancer Biol. 1990 Feb;1(1):47-58.


Cellular immediate-early genes are rapidly and transiently activated when cells are stimulated with many different growth factors. This review examines the function of a short immediate-early gene regulatory sequence, the Serum Response Element (SRE), that is sufficient for this transient transcriptional activation. The structures of SREs and SRE-containing promoters are presented, followed by a summary of SRE regulatory properties. The roles of other SRE-like regulatory sequences in mammalian and yeast cells are then considered. The properties of SRE binding proteins are reviewed, followed by a discussion of the effects of mutations on both SRE function and protein binding. Finally, possible models for SRE function are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Serum Response Factor
  • Transcription Factor TFIIH
  • Transcription Factors, TFII*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GTF2H1 protein, human
  • Growth Substances
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Serum Response Factor
  • Transcription Factors, TFII
  • p62TCF protein, human
  • Transcription Factor TFIIH