When Ets transcription factors meet their partners.
ABSTRACT Ets proteins are a family of transcription factors that regulate the expression of a myriad of genes in a variety of tissues and cell types. This functional versatility emerges from their interactions with other structurally unrelated transcription factors. Indeed, combinatorial control is a characteristic property of Ets family members, involving interactions between Ets and other key transcriptional factors such as AP1, SRF, and Pax family members. Intriguingly, recent molecular modeling and crystallographic data suggest that not only the ETS DNA-binding domain, but also the DNA recognition helix alpha3, are often directly required for Ets partner's selection. Indeed, while most DNA-binding proteins appear to exploit differences within their DNA recognition helices for sites selection, the Ets proteins exploit differences in their surfaces that interact with other transcription factors, which in turn may modify their DNA-binding properties in a promoter-specific fashion. Taken together, the gene-specific architecture of these unique complexes can mediate the selective control of transcriptional activity.
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ABSTRACT: Induction of type I interferon is a central event of innate immunity, essential for host defense. Here we report that the transcription factor ELF4 is induced by type I interferon and upregulates interferon expression in a feed-forward loop. ELF4 deficiency leads to reduced interferon production, resulting in enhanced susceptibility to West Nile virus encephalitis in mice. After viral infection, ELF4 is recruited by STING, interacts with and is activated by the MAVS-TBK1 complex, and translocates into the nucleus to bind interferon promoters. Cooperative binding with ELF4 increases the binding affinity of interferon regulatory factors IRF3 and IRF7, which is mediated by EICE elements. Thus, in addition to identifying a regulator of innate immune signaling, we uncovered a role for EICE elements in interferon transactivation.Nature Immunology 11/2013; · 26.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Ets family of eukaryotic transcription factors is based around the conserved Ets DNA-binding domain. Although their DNA-binding selectivity is biochemically and structurally well characterized, structures of homodimeric and ternary complexes point to Ets domains functioning as versatile protein-interaction modules. In the present paper, we review the progress made over the last decade to elucidate the structural mechanisms involved in modulation of DNA binding and protein partner selection during dimerization. We see that Ets domains, although conserved around a core architecture, have evolved to utilize a variety of interaction surfaces and binding mechanisms, reflecting Ets domains as dynamic interfaces for both DNA and protein interaction. Furthermore, we discuss recent advances in drug development for inhibition of Ets factors, and the roles structural biology can play in their future.Biochemical Society Transactions 02/2014; 42(1):130-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Serum response factor (SRF) is a widely expressed transcription factor involved in multiple regulatory programs. It is believed that SRF can toggle between disparate programs of gene expression through association with different cofactors. However, the direct evidence as to how these factors function on a genome-wide level is still lacking. In the present study, I explored the functions of SRF and its representative cofactors, megakaryoblastic leukemia 1/2 (MKL1/2) and ETS-domain protein 4 (ELK4), during fungal infection challenge in macrophages. The knockdown study, combined with gene expression array analysis, revealed that MKL1/2 regulated SRF-dependent genes were related to actin cytoskeleton organization, while ELK4 regulated SRF-dependent genes were related to external stimulus responses. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) suggested that many of these regulations were mediated directly in cis. I conclude that SRF utilizes MKL1/2 to fulfill steady state cellular functions, including cytoskeletal organization, and utilizes ELK4 to facilitate acute responses to external infection. Together, these findings indicate that SRF, along with its two cofactors, are important players in both cellular homeostasis and stress responses in macrophages.BMC Genomics 04/2014; 15(1):301. · 4.40 Impact Factor