Multiple roles of the epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor, ESE-1, in development and disease

Lab Invest. 2012 Mar;92(3):320-30. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2011.186. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


The E26 transformation-specific (ETS) family of transcription factors comprises of 27 and 26 members in humans and mice, respectively, which are known to regulate many different biological processes, including cell proliferation, cell differentiation, embryonic development, neoplasia, hematopoiesis, angiogenesis, and inflammation. The epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor-1 (ESE-1) is a physiologically important ETS transcription factor, which has been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of various diseases, and was originally characterized as having an epithelial-restricted expression pattern, thus placing it within the epithelium-specific ETS subfamily. Despite a large body of published work on ETS biology, much remains to be learned about the precise functions of ESE-1 and other epithelium-specific ETS factors in regulating diverse disease processes. Clues as to the specific function of ESE-1 in the setting of various diseases can be obtained from studies aimed at examining the expression of putative target genes regulated by ESE-1. Thus, this review will focus primarily on the various roles of ESE-1 in different pathophysiological processes, including regulation of epithelial cell differentiation during both intestinal development and lung regeneration; regulation of dendritic cell-driven T-cell differentiation during allergic airway inflammation; regulation of mammary gland development and breast cancer; and regulation of the effects of inflammatory stimuli within the setting of synovial joint and vascular inflammation. Understanding the exact mechanisms by which ESE-1 regulates these processes can have important implications for the treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Embryonic Development
  • Epithelium / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / embryology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Human / growth & development
  • Mammary Glands, Human / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Regeneration
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ELF3 protein, human
  • Elf3 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Transcription Factors