Evi3, a zinc-finger protein related to EBFAZ, regulates EBF activity in B-cell leukemia

Kathryn E. Hentges, Keith C. Weiser, Tony Schountz, Lanette S. Woodward, Herbert C. Morse, Monica J. Justice

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Retroviral insertions that activate proto-oncogenes are a primary cause of tumors in certain strains of mice. The AKXD recombinant inbred mice are predisposed to a variety of leukemias and lymphomas as a result of viral integration. One common insertion site, the ecotropic viral insertion site 3 (Evi3), has been implicated in most B-cell tumors in the AKXD-27 strain. The Evi3 gene encodes a zinc-finger protein with sequence similarity to the Early B-cell Factor-Associated Zinc-finger gene (EBFAZ). We show that the Evi3 gene is overexpressed in several tumors with viral insertions at Evi3, which results in the upregulation of Early B-cell Factor (EBF)-target gene expression, suggesting that Evi3 modulates EBF activity. Reconstitution of primary leukemia cells showed that these tumors express high densities of the B-cell surface proteins CD19 and CD38, which are EBF targets. Using a transactivation assay, we show that the terminal six zinc-fingers of Evi3 are required for modification of EBF activity. This is the first evidence that Evi3 expression in tumors alters the level of EBF target genes, and the first characterization of the Evi3 protein domains required for modulation of EBF activity. Further, these data imply that Evi3 misexpression initiates tumorigenesis by perturbing B-cell development via an interaction with EBF. © 2005 Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1220-1230
    Number of pages10
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2005


    • B-cell leukemia
    • B29
    • EBF
    • Evi3
    • mb-1
    • Pax-5


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