Immediate early gene

An immediate early gene (short: IEG, immediate early gene to German about ) is a gene that is transcribed within minutes after stimulation of a cell. Transcription of these genes is only temporary and ends already a few minutes after the stimulation. This stimulation can be effected by growth factors, neurotransmitters or electrical stimulation of the cells. or by the transcription factor SRF [ serum response factor ] ( discovered in 1986 by Richard Treisman ). SRF binds to the CArG box, a conserved region in the promoter region of many genes, including just the IEGs.

The first discovered Immediate early genes were mostly transcription factors, they include, for example, the members of the Fos and Jun gene families, as well as Myc and Zif268. They bring about the expression of effector proteins. Meanwhile, a number of IEGs has been characterized whose gene products are themselves involved as effector. Among these are growth factors ( BDNF, β - activin ), proteins that are involved in neuronal signal transduction ( Homer 1a, Rheb ), metabolic enzymes ( cyclooxygenase -2) and cell membrane proteins ( Arcadlin, Narp ).


  • Gene