Differential expression of ETS family transcription factors in NCCIT human embryonic carcinoma cells upon retinoic acid-induced differentiation

Sung-Won Park, Hyun-Jin Do, Woo Tae Ha, Mi-Hee Han, Hyuk Song, Sang-Jun Uhm, Hak-Jae Chung, Jae-Hwan Kim
Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2014, 37 (4): 659-65
E26 transformation-specific (ETS) transcription factors play important roles in normal and tumorigenic processes during development, differentiation, homeostasis, proliferation, and apoptosis. To identify critical ETS factor(s) in germ cell-derived cancer cells, we examined the expression patterns of the 27 ETS transcription factors in naive and differentiated NCCIT human embryonic carcinoma cells, which exhibit both pluripotent and tumorigenic characteristics. Overall, expression of ETS factors was relatively low in NCCIT cells. Among the 27 ETS factors, polyomavirus enhancer activator 3 (PEA3) and epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor-1 (ESE-1) exhibited the most significant changes in their expression levels. Western blot analysis confirmed these patterns, revealing reduced levels of PEA3 protein and elevated levels of ESE-1 protein in differentiated cells. PEA3 increased the proportion of cells in S-phase and promoted cell growth, whereas ESE-1 reduced proliferation potential. These data suggest that PEA3 and ESE-1 may play important roles in pluripotent and tumorigenic embryonic carcinoma cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the functions of oncogenic ETS factors in germ cell-derived stem cells during processes related to tumorigenesis and pluripotency.

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