The ST2 gene was originally identified as a primary responsive gene induced by stimulation with growth factors and by oncogenic stress. The ST2 gene harbors two distinct promoters – a distal promoter and a proximal promoter. In this study, we identified a novel type of serum-responsive element in the ST2 proximal promoter using reporter gene analysis; this element includes a possible responsive element for STAT family proteins. Indeed, enforced expression of constitutively active STAT3 activated this promoter element and induced the expression of ST2 gene products. Furthermore, an oncogenic Ras (G12V) mutant also caused the expression of ST2 gene products by utilizing the proximal promoter. We also clarified that activation of the ST2 promoter by either growth stimulation or oncogenic Ras was suppressed by the inhibitors for STAT3 and ERK pathways. Our observations strongly suggest the importance of STAT family and ERK pathways for the induction of ST2 gene products by cell growth stimulation.
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