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The helix-loop-helix transcription factor TFE3 has been suggested to play a role in the control of cell growth by acting as a binding partner of transcriptional regulators such as E2F3, SMAD3, and LEF-1. Furthermore, translocations/TFE3 fusions have been directly implicated in tumorigenesis. Surprisingly, however, a direct functional role for TFE3 in the regulation of proliferation has not been reported. By screening retroviral cDNA expression libraries to identify cDNAs that confer resistance to a pRB-induced proliferation arrest, we have found that TFE3 overrides a growth arrest in Rat1 cells induced by pRB and its upstream regulator p16(INK4A). In addition, TFE3 expression blocks the anti-mitogenic effects of TGF-beta in rodent and human cells. We provide data supporting a role for endogenous TFE3 in the direct regulation of CYCLIN E expression in an E2F3-dependent manner. These observations establish TFE3 as a functional regulator of proliferation and offer a potential mechanism for its involvement in cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





21582 - 21587


Animals, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Cyclin E, DNA, Complementary, E2F3 Transcription Factor, Epithelial Cells, Fibroblasts, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Library, Humans, Mink, Rats, Retinoblastoma Protein, Transfection, Transforming Growth Factor beta