Cloning and characterization of ERF-1, a human member of the Tis11 family of early-response genes.
Members of the Tis11 family of early-response genes are characterized by a high degree of sequence similarity around a putative zinc finger motif. They are induced by a variety of cell agonists and polypeptide mitogens, including 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). We describe the cloning and sequencing of a human member of this gene family, EGF-response factor 1 (ERF-1), the homolog of the mouse Tis11b/rat cMG1 genes. The human and rodent genes are similar, with 5' UTR, coding sequence, and 3' UTR highly conserved. The promoter/enhancer region and intron sequences contain multiple putative transcription factor binding motifs characteristic of early-response genes. Amino acid sequence comparison of the seven members of the Tis11 family cloned so far identifies a repeated consensus motif of (x+)YKTELC(x+)x5GxCxYGx(x+)CxFxH involving the potential zinc finger. Toward the carboxyterminal end is a region with a high percentage of prolines (15/73) and, partially overlapping, a serine-rich domain (20/54). These may be important as trans-activation and phosphorylation sites. The 3' untranslated region is unusually long, extending over 1,860 bp. The sequence immediately downstream from the translational stop codon has extensive secondary structure potential. The 3' UTR is 60% AT rich, but contains two GC rich (> 70%) regions. In addition there are multiple reiterations of a destabilization sequence, as well as a single UUAUUUAU motif characteristic of mRNAs specifying proteins involved in the inflammatory response. The mRNA contains a consensus polyadenylation signal.