Induction of apoptosis by Elk-1 and deltaElk-1 proteins

Oncogene. 1998 Jul 30;17(4):527-32. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1201931.


Elk-1, an ets related gene codes for at least two splice variants Elk-1, which regulates c-fos transcription and deltaElk-1, both of which function as transcriptional activators. To investigate the role of Elk-1 and deltaElk-1 proteins in apoptosis; we have developed rat fibroblast cell lines and human breast cancer cell lines expressing Elk-1 and deltaElk-1. The expression of Elk-1 and deltaElk-1 proteins in the Elk-1/deltaElk-1 transfectants were analysed by immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analysis. The Elk-1 unlike deltaElk-1 transfectants showed a shortened and flattened morphology compared to the parental cells. We have found that calcium ionophore treatment of Rat-1 Elk-1, MCF-7 Elk-1, Rat-1 deltaElk-1 and MCF-7 deltaElk-1 transfectants resulted in programmed cell death. These results indicate that constitutive expression of Elk-1 and deltaElk-1 proteins triggers apoptosis in Rat-1 fibroblasts and breast cancer cells when treated with calcium ionophore.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • ets-Domain Protein Elk-1


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ELK1 protein, human
  • Elk1 protein, rat
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • ets-Domain Protein Elk-1