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Transcription factors play a key role in the development and differentiation of specific lineages from multipotential progenitors. Identification of these regulators and determining the mechanism of how they activate their target genes are important for understanding normal development of monocytes and macrophages and the pathogenesis of a common form of adult acute leukemia, in which the differentiation of monocytic cells is blocked. Our previous work has shown that the monocyte-specific expression of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) receptor is regulated by three transcription factors interacting with critical regions of the M-CSF receptor promoter, including PU.1 and AML1.PU.1 is essential for myeloid cell development, while the AML1 gene is involved in several common leukemia-related chromosome translocations, although its role in hematopoiesis has not been fully identified. Along with AML1, a third factor, Mono A, interacts with a small region of the promoter which can function as a monocyte-specific enhancer when multimerized and linked to a heterologous basal promoter. Here, we demonstrate by electrophoretic mobility shift assays with monocytic nuclear extracts, COS-7 cell-transfected factors, and specific antibodies that the monocyte-enriched factor Mono A is CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP). C/EBP has been shown previously to be an important transcription factor involved in hepatocyte and adipocyte differentiation; in hematopoietic cells, C/EBP is specifically expressed in myeloid cells. In vitro binding analysis reveals a physical interaction between C/EBP and AML1. Further transfection studies show that C/EBP and AML1 in concert with the AML1 heterodimer partner CBF beta synergistically activate M-CSF receptor by more then 60 fold. These results demonstrate that C/EBP and AML1 are important factors for regulating a critical hematopoietic growth factor receptor, the M-CSF receptor, suggesting a mechanism of how the AML1 fusion protein could contribute to acute myeloid leukemia. Furthermore, they demonstrate physical and functional interactions between AML1 and C/EBP transcription factor family members.
Melanoma growth stimulatory activity (MGSA)/growth regulated (GRO) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) are highly related chemokines that have a causal role in melanoma progression. Expression of these chemokines is similar in that both require the NF-kappa B element and additional regions such as the CAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) element of the IL-8 promoter. The constitutive and cytokine IL-1-induced promoter activity of the chemokine MGSA/GRO alpha in normal retinal pigment epithelial and the Hs294T melanoma cells is partially regulated through the NF-kappa B element, which binds both NF-kappa B p50 and RelA (NF-kappa B p65) homodimers and heterodimers. Mutational analysis of the MGSA/GRO alpha promoter reveals that, in addition to the NF-kappa B element, the immediate upstream region (IUR) is necessary for basal expression in retinal pigment epithelial and Hs294T cells. Gel mobility shift and UV cross-linking analyses demonstrate that several constitutive DNA binding proteins interact with the IUR. Although this region has sequence similarity to the several transcription factor elements including C/EBP, the IUR includes sequences that have no similarity to previously identified enhancer regions. Furthermore, RelA transactivates through either the NF-kappa B element or the IUR, suggesting a putative interaction between NF-kappa B and this novel complex.
The genomic copy multiplicity of the CCAAT transcription complex component enhancer factor I subunit A (EFIA) has been examined. When a mammalian genomic Southern blot was hybridized to a rat EFIA cDNA, a complex pattern consisting of numerous related sequences was found in all the species examined, with Bos taurus being the least complex. An EFIA#1 cDNA from Bos taurus was isolated from a primary lung endothelial cell cDNA library by screening with the 1489-bp rat EFIA cDNA. The deduced bovine EFIA#1 amino acid (aa) sequence is 98% identical to rat EFIA and 100% identical to human EFIA/DbpB/YB-1 family member DNA-binding protein B (DbpB). In addition, a processed EFIA pseudogene from Bos taurus, designated bovine psi EFIA#1, was obtained from a genomic library by screening with a rat EFIA cDNA probe. The bovine psi EFIA#1 gene has an ORF which, if expressed, would encode a 140-aa sequence, with aa 31-140 having 84% identity to bovine EFIA#1. The genomic cloning data indicate that processed pseudogenes are partially responsible for the complexity of the EFIA genomic Southern blots. The phenomenon of 'repeat induced point mutation' (ripping) at bovine psi EFIA#1 gene CpG dinucleotides occurs at a 6.5-fold higher frequency than expected from random mutagenesis. Therefore, ripping is likely to be the mechanism by which the bovine EFIA#1 pseudogene's ectopic recombination potential was inactivated.
Genomic Southern blot analysis of rat EFIA (gene encoding enhancer factor I subunit A) reveals a complex band pattern when cDNA subfragment probes are used. Screening a rat genomic library with a rat EFIA cDNA probe yields two different processed EFIA pseudogenes, designated rat psi EFIA#(2/3) and #(4/7), in addition to two other different, but less extensively characterized clones. psi EFIA#(4/7) has no open reading frame (ORF) sequences. psi EFIA#(2/3) contains two ORFs (83 and 178 codons), the products of which (if expressed) might be negative-acting EFIA transcription factors. Located nearly 0.6 kb upstream from psi EFIA#(2/3) is a perfect 69-bp dinucleotide (CT) tandem repeat, a sequence element associated with other isolated pseudogenes. Additionally, the 3' end of this processed gene is interrupted by an unusual retroposon, an inverted dimeric B1-like short interspersed repetitive element (SINE). The isolation of several independent clones of the same EFIA processed pseudogenes indicates that they comprise a significant component of the rat EFIA copy multiplicity. The phenomenon of repeat induced point mutagenesis (ripping) at rat EFIA pseudogene CpG doublets occurs at a frequency at least 6.5 times higher than predicted from random mutagenesis. This is consonant with the proposal that ripping may be the mechanism which inactivates the ectopic recombination potential of the rat EFIA pseudogenes.
We have studied the competitive binding of histones and the Rous sarcoma virus internal enhancer binding factor (IBF) factor (which recent studies indicate is almost certainly cEBP beta). We find that histones and IBF are incapable of forming a ternary complex with a 159-base pair (bp) fragment of DNA containing a single IBF binding site and that histones and factor are mutually exclusive in binding. We have analyzed the various physical parameters of binding, in an attempt to understand how the factor might establish an exclusive binding in the cell. The stability of the nucleosome and the factor-DNA complex have been determined, and in addition a minimum value for the affinity of the histone octamer has been computed. We find that in simple competition the IBF can successfully compete, only if the substrate DNA is shorter than 140 bp. The relevance of these results is discussed in terms of a kinetic model for successful factor competition during the replication of the factor binding site in the cell.
In this report we demonstrate that C/EBP beta is a major component of three EFII DNA binding complexes, EFIIa, EFIIb, and EFIIc, which we have previously shown to specifically recognize a C/EBP consensus binding site found in the EFII enhancer sequence from the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat (R. C. Sears and L. Sealy, J. Virol. 66:6338-6352, 1992). Three different forms of C/EBP beta, p42, p35, and p20, can bind the EFII DNA sequence as homodimers, and dimerization experiments show that EFIIa is a homodimer of p20 C/EBP beta, EFIIb is primarily composed of a p20/p35 heterodimer with minor amounts of p20/p42 heterodimer and p35 homodimer, and EFIIc is composed of p20 and/or p35 heterodimerized with a novel 60-kDa protein. p20 C/EBP beta is likely equivalent to the internally initiated translation product of C/EBP beta, LIP (liver inhibitor protein), described by P. Descombes and U. Schibler (Cell 67:569-579, 1991). In contrast to the low level of LIP expressed in liver, postulated to occur because of leaky ribosome scanning, we found high levels of expression of p20 C/EBP beta in fibroblasts and lymphocytes. In murine fibroblasts, p20 C/EBP beta has an extended half-life, four times longer than those of p42 and p35 C/EBP beta, which could contribute to its abundant accumulation in this cell type, even though its synthesis by leaky ribosome scanning might be inefficient. Interestingly, overexpression of either the long or short form of C/EBP beta represses EFII-mediated transcription, suggesting that another unidentified EFII transactivator(s) exists, which may be dominantly inhibited by C/EBP beta proteins, and/or that transactivation by C/EBP beta proteins requires posttranslational modifications that were lacking in the transient overexpression experiments.
The peripherin gene, which encodes a neuronal-specific intermediate filament protein, is transcriptionally induced with a late time course when nerve growth factor stimulates PC12 cells to differentiate into neurons. We have defined a negative regulatory element (NRE) that has a functional role in repressing peripherin expression in undifferentiate and nonneuronal cells. Nerve growth factor-induced derepression of peripherin gene expression is associated with alterations in proteins binding to a GC-rich DNA sequence in the NRE as detected by the DNA electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). We have utilized DNA affinity chromatography to purify from rat liver a 33-kDa DNA-binding protein that specifically recognizes the NRE. Microsequencing reveals identity with NF1-L, a member of the CTF/NF-1 transcription factor family. This protein forms a single complex when incubated with the NRE probe using EMSA analysis. The more slowly migrating complexes characteristic of crude undifferentiated PC12 cell extract are reconstituted by mixing the purified protein with the flow-through from the DNA affinity column, thereby demonstrating that protein-protein interactions are involved in complex formation. Supershift experiments incubating anti-CTF-1 antibody with undifferentiated PC12 cell extract prior to EMSA analysis confirm that NF1-L, or a closely related family member, is the DNA-binding protein component of the multiprotein complex at the NRE.
We have characterized enhancer factor I (EFI), a trans-acting factor present in avian nuclear extracts which binds to the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat enhancer and promoter. Through deletion and point mutagenesis, we show that EFI is a member of the CCAAT family of transcription factors. Although the CCAAT motif is essential for protein-DNA recognition, EFI shows surprising latitude in the nucleotide sequences flanking the CCAAT motif to which it will bind with high affinity. EFI will cross-bind to the binding sites of a number of previously described CCAAT factors, including CBF, NF-Y, CP2, CP1, CTF/NF-1, and c/EBP, with a range of affinities that is at most 10-fold lower than the high affinity binding site for EFI in the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat. We present evidence, however, that EFI is probably identical or very closely related to CBF and NF-Y. This is based on the fact that EFI in avian nuclear extracts binds with equal or 2-fold greater affinity to the binding sites of NF-Y and CBF, despite less than 50% homology (outside the CCAAT motif) between the EFI, NF-Y, and CBF recognition sequences. Moreover, radiolabeled EFI, NF-Y, or CBF DNAs give rise to identical gel retardation patterns in extracts from a variety of different cell types. EFI, CBF, and NF-Y appear to fractionate identically upon ion exchange chromatography, separating into two heterologous components (A and B) which must be recombined to recover substantial DNA binding activity. Molecular weight estimates for the two heterologous components of EFI, CBF, and a Y-box binding protein (Celada, A., and Maki, R.A. (1989) Mol. Cell. Biol. 9, 3097-3100) are very similar. EFI DNA binding activity has recently been shown to be induced by serum and the oncogene v-src (Dutta, A., Stoeckle, M.Y., and Hanafusa, H. (1990) Genes & Dev. 4, 243-254). The close relationship or identity between EFI, CBF, and NF-Y, thus has important implications regarding the mechanisms by which serum or the oncogene v-src may affect changes in gene expression.
Enhancer factor I (EFI) is a trans-acting factor which binds to the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat enhancer and promoter at two inverted CCAAT-box motifs. We demonstrate that two forms of EFI DNA binding activity exist in nuclear extracts of avian cells. One form requires two heterologous components (EFIA)(EFIB) for high affinity, specific DNA binding activity, whereas a second form is not dependent on EFIB for binding and may be composed solely of EFIA, perhaps as a multimer. Both forms give rise to the same mobility shift in gel retardation assays, but the two forms can be separated chromatographically under buffer conditions which stabilize the two DNA binding activities. A cDNA for EFIA has been isolated from a rat liver cDNA expression library. The 1489-base pair EFIA cDNA encodes a 322-amino acid protein which is nearly identical to two previously described human DNA binding proteins. These are dbpB, a DNA binding protein of unknown specificity which binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor enhancer and c-erbB-2 gene promoter (Sakura, H., Maekawa, T., Imamoto, F., Yasuda, K., and Ishii, S. (1988) Gene (Amst.) 73, 499-507), and YB-1, a protein which recognizes the Y-box (inverted CCAAT motif) of the HLA-DR alpha chain gene (Didier, D. K., Schiffenbauer, J., Woulfe, S. L., Zacheis, M., and Schwartz, B. D. (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 85, 7322-7326). EFIA/dbpB/YB-1 share a highly conserved region of 100 amino acids with dbpA, another protein identified by Sakura et al. (1988) which binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor enhancer and c-erbB-2 gene promoter, and with two Xenopus CCAAT binding proteins, FRG Y1 and FRG Y2 (Tafuri, S. R., and Wolffe, A. P. (1990) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., in press). This highly conserved domain among all six proteins is presumed to represent or contain a DNA binding domain for the CCAAT motif. In addition, we note that the EFIA/dbpB/YB-1 polypeptide contains a novel arrangement of alternating clusters of positively and negatively charged amino acids not yet reported for any trans-acting factor. The functional significance of this novel structural motif, which is also conserved in dbpA, FRG Y1, and FRG Y2, will be discussed.