elk, tissue-specific ets-related genes on chromosomes X and 14 near translocation breakpoints

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Science  07 Apr 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4900, pp. 66-70
DOI: 10.1126/science.2539641


The myb-ets-containing acute leukemia virus, E26, transforms myeloblasts and erythroblasts in culture and causes a mixed erythroid and myeloid leukemia in chicks. Genes (ets-1, ets-2, and erg) with variable relatedness to the v-ets oncogene of the E26 virus have been identified, cloned, and characterized in several species. Two new members (elk-1 and elk-2) of the ets oncogene superfamily have now been identified. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the elk-1 cDNA clone revealed that this gene encodes a 428-residue protein whose predicted amino acid sequence showed 82% similarity to the 3' region of v-ets. The elk or related sequences appear to be transcriptionally active in testis and lung. The elk cDNA probe detects two loci in the human genome, elk-1 and elk-2, which map to chromosome regions Xp11.2 and 14q32.3, respectively. These loci are near the translocation breakpoint seen in the t(X;18) (p11.2;q11.2), which is characteristic of synovial sarcoma, and the chromosome 14q32 breakpoints seen in ataxia telangiectasia and other T cell malignancies. This suggests the possibility that rearrangements of elk loci may be involved in pathogenesis of certain tumors.