Identification and characterization of zinc finger encoding genes from the tumoral exocrine pancreatic cell line AR42J

Kristin Mesa, Brian Gebelein, Tiffany Cook, Raul Urrutia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Zinc finger transcription factors are DNA-binding proteins that are known to determine the identity of cells by regulating cell-specific gene expression. In addition, mutations in some members of this family have been found to be associated with several neoplasias, including Wilms' tumor and leukemias. Because the mechanisms that regulate normal, as well as neoplastic, pancreatic cell differentiation are poorly understood, we are searching for pancreas-enriched transcription factors that may determine the identity of pancreatic cells. Towards this end, we have used the polymerase chain reaction and degenerate primers against the highly conserved (Cys2-His2) zinc finger domain to amplify novel transcription factor encoding cDNAs from the well-characterized pancreatic acinar cell line AR42J. Using this approach, we have identified 17 different zinc finger encoding cDNAs (AZF-1 to -17). Sequence analysis shows that all of these clones encode for different zinc finger peptides which share the consensus DNA binding motif with the Drosophila transcription factor kruppel. As a first step in the characterization of these genes, the purified PCR products were used to determine their spatial pattern of expression by northern blot analysis. Using these techniques, we find that numerous zinc finger encoding genes are expressed in AR42J acinar cells as well as in normal adult rat pancreas and suggest that they may play a role as transcription factors in exocrine pancreatic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 5 1996


  • AR42J cell line
  • Pancreatic cells
  • Zinc finger encoding genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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