E2F is a family of transcription factors implicated in the regulation of gene expression required for progression through the G1-S transition. We have previously detected tumor-specific mutations at a trinucleotide repeat coding sequence of E2F-4 gene in a subset of human sporadic colorectal cancers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential functional consequences of these E2F-4 mutations. We transfected NIH3T3 fibroblasts with expression constructs containing wild-type as well as mutant E2F-4 cDNA, and the effect of the E2F-4 mutations on proliferation was examined. Alteration in transactivation of the E2F consensus promoter sequence was also examined by transient cotransfection of a E2F-4 with a DP-2 construct into cultured human cells. Transfected cell clones overexpressing mutant E2F-4 grew more rapidly and showed higher proliferative activity by increased immunohistochemical staining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). All three mutant forms of E2F-4 showed elevated transactivation of the E2F consensus promoter sequence. Thus, expression of mutant E2F-4s confers a growth advantage in vivo, and this effect may be related to the acquisition of a neoplastic phenotype.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology