The oncogenic role of the ETS transcription factors MEF and ERG

Goro Sashida, Elena Bazzoli, Silvia Menendez, Yan Liu, Stephen D. Nimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several ETS transcription factors, including MEF/ELF4 and ERG, can function as oncogenes and are overexpressed in human cancer. MEF cooperates in tumorigenesis in retroviral insertional mutagenesis-based mouse models of cancer and MEF is overexpressed in human lymphoma and ovarian cancer tissues via unknown mechanisms. ERG (Ets related gene) overexpression or increased activity has been found in various human cancers, including sarcomas, acute myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer, where the ERG gene is rearranged due to chromosomal translocations. We have been examining how MEF functions as an oncogene and recently showed that MEF can cooperate with H-RasG12v and can inhibit both p53 and p16 expression thereby promoting transformation. in fact, in cells lacking p53, the absence of Mef abrogates H-Ras G12v-induced transformation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts, at least in part due to increased p16 expression. We discuss the known mechanisms by which the ETS transcription factors MEF and ERG contribute to the malignant transformation of cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3457-3459
Number of pages3
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010


  • AML
  • AML1-ETO
  • MDM2
  • p53
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ras

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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