Distinctions in the specificity of E2F function revealed by gene expression signatures

Esther P. Black, Timothy Hallstrom, Holly K. Dressman, Mike West, Joseph R. Nevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The E2F family of transcription factors provides essential activities for coordinating the control of cellular proliferation and cell fate. Both E2F1 and E2F3 proteins have been shown to be particularly important for cell proliferation, whereas the E2F1 protein has the capacity to promote apoptosis. To explore the basis for this specificity of function, we used DNA microarray analysis to probe for the distinctions in the two E2F activities. Gene expression profiles that distinguish either E2F1- or E2F3-expressing cells from quiescent cells are enriched in genes encoding cell cycle and DNA replication activities, consistent with many past studies. E2F1 profile is also enriched in genes known to function in apoptosis. We also identified patterns of gene expression that specifically differentiate the activity of E2F1 and E2F3; this profile is enriched in genes known to function in mitosis. The specificity of E2 function has been attributed to protein interactions mediated by the marked box domain, and we now show that chimeric E2F proteins generate expression signatures that reflect the origin of the marked box, thus linking the biochemical mechanism for specificity of function with specificity of gene activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15948-15953
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • DNA microarray
  • Transcriptional control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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