Activator protein 1 transcription factors are fundamental to v-ras(Ha)-induced changes in gene expression in neoplastic keratinocytes

S. E. Rutberg, T. L. Adams, A. Glick, M. T. Bonovich, C. Vinson, S. H. Yuspa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The induction of mouse skin papillomas by initiation-promotion protocols is associated with aberrant expression of epithelial markers in the tumor mass. Similarly, initiation of mouse keratinocytes with a retrovirus encoding the v-ras(Ha) gene (v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes) causes characteristic alterations of epidermal gene expression (A. A. Dlugosz et al., Cancer Res., 54: 6413-6420, 1994). Because activator protein 1 (AP-1) proteins are likely targets of Ras activation, we have examined the role of AP-1 factors in v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes. Introduction of v-ras(Ha) into keratinocytes up-regulates c-Fos, ΔFos B, and Fra-1 transcripts and protein levels in nuclear extracts. The expression of Jun proteins is not significantly altered in v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes. Transduction of cells with v-ras(Ha) results in increased AP-1-dependent transcriptional activity, which is also simulated by transfection of keratinocytes with either c-Fos or ΔFos B but not Fra-1, suggesting that the up-regulation of c-Fos and ΔFos B contributes to this effect. To explore the role of AP-1 proteins in regulating keratinocyte markers in v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes, we blocked the binding of AP-1 proteins to DNA by infecting keratinocytes with an adenovirus encoding a dominant-negative Fos mutant (A-FOS). A-FOS replaces endogenous Fos proteins in the formation of heterodimers with Jun family members and thus prevents the AP-1 transcription factor from binding to DNA. In v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes, the A-FOS virus reversed the suppression of keratins 1 and 10 transcripts and protein, which is characteristically seen in tumors and v-ras(Ha) keratinocytes. A-FOS also increased protein levels but reduced transcripts for the late marker, loricrin, a component of the cornified envelope. These findings indicate that AP-1 proteins are involved in the changes in gene expression that define the v-ras(Ha) phenotype in mouse keratinocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6332-6338
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Activator protein 1 transcription factors are fundamental to v-ras(Ha)-induced changes in gene expression in neoplastic keratinocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this