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The transcription factor p63 is required for proper epidermal barrier formation and maintenance. Herein, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with DNA sequencing to identify novel p63 target genes involved in normal human epidermal keratinocyte (NHEKs) growth and differentiation. We identified over 2000 genomic sites bound by p63, of which 82 were also transcriptionally regulated by p63 in NHEKs. Through the discovery of interleukin-1-α as a p63 target gene, we identified that p63 is a regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal crosstalk. Further, three-dimensional organotypic co-cultures revealed TCF7L1, another novel p63 target gene, as a regulator of epidermal proliferation and differentiation, providing a mechanism by which p63 maintains the proliferative potential of basal epidermal cells. The discovery of new target genes links p63 to diverse signaling pathways required for epidermal development, including regulation of paracrine signaling to proliferative potential. Further mechanistic insight into p63 regulation of epidermal cell growth and differentiation is provided by the identification of a number of novel p63 target genes in this study.
Pancreatic beta-cell-type-specific expression of the insulin gene requires both ubiquitous and cell-enriched activators, which are organized within the enhancer region into a network of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions to promote transcriptional synergy. Protein-protein-mediated communication between DNA-bound activators and the RNA polymerase II transcriptional machinery is inhibited by the adenovirus E1A protein as a result of E1A's binding to the p300 coactivator. E1A disrupts signaling between the non-DNA-binding p300 protein and the basic helix-loop-helix DNA-binding factors of insulin's E-element activator (i.e., the islet-enriched BETA2 and generally distributed E47 proteins), as well as a distinct but unidentified enhancer factor. In the present report, we show that E1A binding to p300 prevents activation by insulin's beta-cell-enriched PDX-1 activator. p300 interacts directly with the N-terminal region of the PDX-1 homeodomain protein, which contains conserved amino acid sequences essential for activation. The unique combination of PDX-1, BETA2, E47, and p300 was shown to promote synergistic activation from a transfected insulin enhancer-driven reporter construct in non-beta cells, a process inhibited by E1A. In addition, E1A inhibited the level of PDX-1 and BETA2 complex formation in beta cells. These results indicate that E1A inhibits insulin gene transcription by preventing communication between the p300 coactivator and key DNA-bound activators, like PDX-1 and BETA2:E47.
The wnt pathway regulates the steady state level of beta-catenin, a transcriptional coactivator for the Tcf3/Lef1 family of DNA binding proteins. We demonstrate that Tcf3 can inhibit beta-catenin turnover via its competition with axin and adenomatous polyposis for beta-catenin binding. A mutant of beta-catenin that cannot bind Tcf3 is degraded faster than the wild-type protein in Xenopus embryos and extracts. A fragment of beta-catenin and a peptide encoding the NH2 terminus of Tcf4 that block the interaction between beta-catenin and Tcf3 stimulate beta-catenin degradation, indicating this interaction normally plays an important role in regulating beta-catenin turnover. Tcf3 is a substrate for both glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3 and casein kinase (CK) 1epsilon, and phosphorylation of Tcf3 by CKIepsilon stimulates its binding to beta-catenin, an effect reversed by GSK3. Tcf3 synergizes with CK1epsilon to inhibit beta-catenin degradation, whereas CKI-7, an inhibitor of CK1epsilon, reduces the inhibitory effect of Tcf3. Finally, we provide evidence that CK1epsilon stimulates the binding of dishevelled (dsh) to GSk3 binding protein (GBP) in extracts. Along with evidence that a significant amount of Tcf protein is nonnuclear, these findings suggest that CK1epsilon can modulate wnt signaling in vivo by regulating both the beta-catenin-Tcf3 and the GBP-dsh interfaces.
Pancreatic beta-cell-type-specific and glucose-inducible transcription of the insulin gene is mediated by the basic helix-loop-helix factors that bind to and activate expression from an E-box element within its enhancer. The E-box activator is a heteromeric complex composed of a beta-cell-enriched factor, BETA2/NeuroD, and ubiquitously distributed proteins encoded by the E2A and HEB genes. Previously, we demonstrated that the adenovirus type 5 E1A proteins repressed stimulation by the E-box activator in beta cells. In this study, our objective was to determine how E1A repressed activator function. The results indicate that E1A reduces activation by binding to and sequestering the p300 cellular coactivator protein. Thus, we show that expression of p300 in beta cells can relieve inhibition by E1A, as well as potentiate activation by the endogenous insulin E-box transcription factors. p300 stimulated activation from GAL4 (amino acids 1 to 147) fusion constructs of either BETA2/NeuroD or the E2A-encoded E47 protein. The sequences spanning the activation domains of BETA2/NeuroD (amino acids 156 to 355) and E47 (amino acids 1 to 99 and 325 to 432) were required for this response. The same region of BETA2/NeuroD was shown to be important for binding to p300 in vitro. The sequences of p300 involved in E47 and BETA2/NeuroD association resided between amino acids 1 and 1257 and 1945 and 2377, respectively. A mutation in p300 that abolished binding to BETA2/NeuroD also destroyed the ability of p300 to activate insulin E-box-directed transcription in beta cells. Our results indicate that physical and functional interactions between p300 and the E-box activator factors play an important role in insulin gene transcription.
Pancreatic beta-cell type-specific transcription of the insulin gene is mediated, in part, by factors in the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family that act on a site within the insulin enhancer, termed the E1-box. Expression from this element is regulated by a heteromeric protein complex containing ubiquitous (i.e. the E2A- and HEB-encoded proteins) and islet-enriched members of the bHLH family. Recent studies indicate that the E2A- and HEB-encoded proteins contain a transactivation domain, termed AD2, that functions more efficiently in transfected beta-cell lines. In the present report, we extend this observation by demonstrating that expression of full-length E2A proteins (E47, E12, and E2/5) activates insulin E element-directed transcription in a beta-cell line-selective manner. Stimulation required functional interactions with other key insulin gene transcription factors, including its islet bHLH partner as well as those that act on the RIPE3b1 and RIPE3a2 elements of the insulin gene enhancer. The conserved AD2 domain in the E2A proteins was essential in this process. The effect of the E2A- and HEB-encoded proteins on insulin gene expression was also analyzed in mice lacking a functional E2A or HEB gene. There was no apparent difference in insulin production between wild type, heterozygote, and homozygous mutant E2A or HEB mice. These results suggest that neither the E2A- or HEB-encoded proteins are essential for insulin transcription and that one factor can substitute for the other to impart normal insulin E1 activator function in mutant animals.
Pancreatic beta-cell-type-specific transcription of the insulin gene is principally regulated by a single cis-acting DNA sequence element, termed the insulin control element (ICE), which is found within the 5'-flanking region of the gene. The ICE activator is a heteromeric complex composed of an islet alpha/beta-cell-specific factor associated with the ubiquitously distributed E2A-encoded proteins (E12, E47, and E2-5). We describe the isolation and characterization of a cDNA for a protein present in alpha and beta cells, termed INSAF for insulin activator factor, which binds to and activates ICE-mediated expression. INSAF was isolated from a human insulinoma cDNA library. Transfection experiments demonstrated that INSAF activates ICE expression in insulin-expressing cells but not in non-insulin-expressing cells. Cotransfection experiments showed that activation by INSAF was inhibited by Id, a negative regulator of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein function. INSAF was also shown to associate in vitro with the bHLH protein E12. In addition, affinity-purified INSAF antiserum abolished the formation of the activator-specific ICE-binding complex. Immunohistochemical studies indicate that INSAF is restricted in terms of its expression pattern, in that INSAF appears to be detected only within the nuclei of islet pancreatic alpha and beta cells. All of these data are consistent with the proposal that INSAF is either part of the ICE activator or is antigenically related to the specific activator required for insulin gene transcription.