The basic helix-loop-helix-zipper transcription factor USF1 regulates expression of the surfactant protein-A gene.
ABSTRACT Expression of the rabbit pulmonary surfactant protein A (SP-A) gene is lung-specific, occurs primarily in type II cells, and is developmentally regulated. We previously identified two E-box-like enhancers, termed the distal binding element (DBE) and proximal binding element (PBE), in the 5'-flanking region of the rabbit SP-A gene. In the present study, the PBE was used to screen a rabbit fetal lung cDNA expression library; a cDNA insert was isolated which is highly similar in sequence to human upstream stimulatory factor 1 (hUSF1). By use of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, two isoforms of rabbit USF1 (rUSF1) mRNAs were identified in fetal rabbit lung and other tissues. The levels of rUSF1 mRNAs reach a peak in fetal rabbit lung at 23 days gestation, in concert with the time of initiation of SP-A gene transcription. Binding complexes of nuclear proteins obtained from fetal rabbit lung tissue and isolated type II cells with the DBE and PBE were supershifted by the addition of anti-rUSF1 IgG. Binding activity was enriched in type II cells compared with lung fibroblasts. Overexpression of rUSF1s in A549 adenocarcinoma cells positively regulated SP-A promoter activity of cotransfected reporter gene constructs. It is suggested that rUSF1s, which bind to two E-box elements in the SP-A gene 5'-flanking region, may serve a key role in the regulation of SP-A gene expression in pulmonary type II cells.
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ABSTRACT: Miwi, a member of the Argonaute family, is required for initiating spermiogenesis; however, the mechanisms that regulate the expression of the Miwi gene remain unknown. By mutation analysis and transgenic models, we identified a 303 bp proximal promoter region of the mouse Miwi gene, which controls specific expression from midpachytene spermatocytes to round spermatids during meiosis. We characterized the binding sites of transcription factors NF-Y (Nuclear Factor Y) and USF (Upstream Stimulatory Factor) within the core promoter and found that both factors specifically bind to and activate the Miwi promoter. Methylation profiling of three CpG islands within the proximal promoter reveals a markedly inverse correlation between the methylation status of the CpG islands and germ cell type-specific expression of Miwi. CpG methylation at the USF-binding site within the E2 box in the promoter inhibits the binding of USF. Transgenic Miwi-EGFP and endogenous Miwi reveal a subcellular co-localization pattern in the germ cells of the Miwi-EGFP transgenic mouse. Furthermore, the DNA methylation profile of the Miwi promoter-driven transgene is consistent with that of the endogenous Miwi promoter, indicating that Miwi transgene is epigenetically modified through methylation in vivo to ensure its spatio-temporal expression. Our findings suggest that USF controls Miwi expression from midpachytene spermatocytes to round spermatids through methylation-mediated regulation. This work identifies an epigenetic regulation mechanism for the spatio-temporal expression of mouse Miwi during spermatogenesis.PLoS Genetics 05/2012; 8(5):e1002716. · 8.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: While the functions of HIF1α/ARNT and HIF2α/ARNT proteins in activating hypoxia-inducible genes are well established, the role of other transcription factors in the hypoxic transcriptional response is less clear. We report here for the first time that the basic-helix-loop-helix-leucine-zip transcription factor, upstream stimulatory factor-2 (USF2) is required for the hypoxic transcriptional response, specifically for hypoxic activation of HIF2 target genes. We show that inhibiting USF2 activity greatly reduces hypoxic induction of HIF2 target genes in cell lines that have USF2 activity while inducing USF2 activity in cells lacking USF2 activity restores hypoxic induction of HIF2 target genes. Mechanistically, USF2 activates HIF2 target genes by binding to HIF2 target gene promoters, interacting with HIF2α protein and recruiting co-activators CBP and p300 to form enhanceosome complexes that contain HIF2α, USF2, CBP, p300 and RNA Pol II on HIF2 target gene promoters. Functionally, the effect of USF2 knockdown on proliferation, motility and clonogenic survival of HIF2-dependent tumor cells in vitro is phenocopied by HIF2α knockdown, indicating that USF2 works with HIF2 to activate HIF2 target genes and to drive HIF2-depedent tumorigenesis.Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2012; · 5.04 Impact Factor