The ternary complex factor (TCF) subfamily of ETS-domain transcription factors bind with serum response factor (SRF) to the serum response element (SRE) and mediate increased gene expression. The TCF protein Elk-1 is phosphorylated by the JNK and ERK groups of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases causing increased DNA binding, ternary complex formation, and transcriptional activation. Activated SRE-dependent gene expression is induced by JNK in cells treated with interleukin-1 and by ERK after treatment with phorbol ester. The Elk-1 transcription factor therefore integrates MAP kinase signaling pathways in vivo to coordinate biological responses to different extracellular stimuli.
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