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FLI1 gene

Fli-1 proto-oncogene, ETS transcription factor
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Normal Function

The FLI1 gene provides instructions for making the FLI protein, which controls the activity (transcription) of genes. Transcription is the first step in the process of producing proteins. The FLI protein is part of a group of related proteins, called the Ets family of transcription factors, that control transcription. The FLI protein attaches (binds) to certain regions of DNA and turns on (activates) the transcription of nearby genes. The proteins produced from these genes control many important cellular processes, such as cell growth and division (proliferation), maturation (differentiation), and survival. The FLI protein is found primarily in blood cells and is thought to regulate their development.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Ewing sarcoma

Mutations involving the FLI1 gene cause a type of cancerous tumor known as Ewing sarcoma. These tumors develop in bones or soft tissues such as nerves and cartilage. There are several types of Ewing sarcoma, including Ewing sarcoma of bone, extraosseous Ewing sarcoma, peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and Askin tumor. The mutations that cause these tumors are acquired during a person's lifetime and are present only in the tumor cells. This type of genetic change, called a somatic mutation, is not inherited. The most common mutation that causes Ewing sarcoma is a rearrangement (translocation) of genetic material between chromosome 11 and chromosome 22. This translocation, written as t(11;22), fuses part of the FLI1 gene on chromosome 11 with part of another gene called EWSR1 on chromosome 22, creating an EWSR1/FLI1 fusion gene.

The protein produced from the EWSR1/FLI1 fusion gene, called EWS/FLI, has functions of the protein products of both genes. Like the FLI protein, the EWS protein, produced from the EWSR1 gene, can regulate transcription. The EWS/FLI protein has the DNA-binding function of the FLI protein as well as the transcription regulation function of the EWS protein. It is thought that the EWS/FLI protein turns the transcription of a variety of genes on and off abnormally. This dysregulation of transcription leads to uncontrolled growth and division (proliferation) and abnormal maturation and survival of cells, causing tumor development.

The EWSR1/FLI1 fusion gene occurs in approximately 85 percent of Ewing sarcomas. The remaining tumors result from translocations that fuse the EWSR1 gene with other genes.

More About This Health Condition

Jacobsen syndrome

MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Jacobsen syndrome

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Other Names for This Gene

  • EWSR2
  • FLI1_HUMAN
  • Friend leukemia integration 1 transcription factor
  • Friend leukemia virus integration 1
  • proto-oncogene Fli-1
  • SIC-1
  • transcription factor ERGB

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Research Resources

References

  • Mao X, Miesfeldt S, Yang H, Leiden JM, Thompson CB. The FLI-1 and chimeric EWS-FLI-1 oncoproteins display similar DNA binding specificities. J Biol Chem. 1994 Jul 8;269(27):18216-22. Citation on PubMed
  • May WA, Gishizky ML, Lessnick SL, Lunsford LB, Lewis BC, Delattre O, Zucman J, Thomas G, Denny CT. Ewing sarcoma 11;22 translocation produces a chimeric transcription factor that requires the DNA-binding domain encoded by FLI1 for transformation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jun 15;90(12):5752-6. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • May WA, Lessnick SL, Braun BS, Klemsz M, Lewis BC, Lunsford LB, Hromas R, Denny CT. The Ewing's sarcoma EWS/FLI-1 fusion gene encodes a more potent transcriptional activator and is a more powerful transforming gene than FLI-1. Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Dec;13(12):7393-8. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Ohno T, Rao VN, Reddy ES. EWS/Fli-1 chimeric protein is a transcriptional activator. Cancer Res. 1993 Dec 15;53(24):5859-63. Citation on PubMed
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