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

Oncogene. 1997 Nov 13;15(20):2449-62. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1201427.


The ETS family of genes are implicated in cancers such as Ewings sarcoma, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myelomonocytic 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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • COS Cells
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1 / genetics*
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Polyomavirus / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Syndrome
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcriptional Activation


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

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF016294
  • GENBANK/AF016295