Isolation and characterization of a novel epithelium-specific transcription factor, ESE-1, a member of the ets family

Peter Oettgen, Rhoda M. Alani, Marcello A. Barcinski, Lawrence Brown, Yasmin Akbarali, Jay Boltax, Charles Kunsch, Karl Munger, Towia A. Libermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


We report here the isolation of a novel, highly tissue-restricted member of the ets transcription factor/oncogene family, ESE-1 (for epithelium- specific Ets), which has features distinct from those of any other ets- related factor. ESE-1 contains two putative DNA binding domains: an ETS domain, which is unique in that the 5' half shows relatively weak homology to known ets factors, and an A/T hook domain, found in HMG proteins and various other nuclear factors. In contrast to any known ets factors, ESE-1 is expressed exclusively in epithelial cells. ESE-1 expression is induced during terminal differentiation of the epidermis and in a primary human keratinocyte differentiation system. The keratinocyte terminal differentiation marker gene, SPRR2A, is a putative target for ESE-1, since SPRR2A expression during keratinocyte differentiation correlates with induction of ESE-1 expression, and ESE-1 binds with high affinity to and transactivates the ets binding site in the SPRR2A promoter. ESE-1 also binds to and transactivates the enhancer of the Endo A gene, a potential target for ESE-1 in simple epithelia. Due to the important role that other ets factors play in cellular differentiation, ESE-1 is expected to be a critical regulator of epithelial cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4419-4433
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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