Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Cancer

pp 1339-1343

Ets Transcription Factors

  • Jürgen DittmerAffiliated withKlinik für Gynäkologie, Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Ets transcription factors are defined by a unique DNA binding domain, the ETS domain, which specifically interacts with an ∼10 bp long DNA sequence containing a 5′-GGAA/T-3′ core motif (Fig. 1). Ets stands for E26 transformation specific or E26, as the Ets sequence (v-ets) was first identified in the genome of the avian retrovirus E26. c-Ets1, closely related to v-Ets, was the first cellular Ets protein that was discovered. More than 30 different Ets proteins have been identified, found throughout the metazoan world including mammals, sea urchins, worms, and insects. Currently, 27 human Ets proteins are known. The Ets family is divided into subfamilies based on the similarity in the ETS domain (Fig. 2).
Ets Transcription Factors. Fig. 1

The ETS domain. This winged helix-turn-helix domain binds DNA by a loop-helix-loop scaffold, composed of the helix(α2)-turn-helix(α3) motif and the loops between α2 and α3 (turn) and between the β strands β3 and β4 (wing). All direct c ...

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