The orphan receptor Rev-ErbAα activates transcription via a novel response element

Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.
Molecular and Cellular Biology (Impact Factor: 4.78). 06/1993; 13(5):3113-21. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.13.5.3113
Source: PubMed


Rev-ErbA alpha (Rev-Erb) is a nuclear hormone receptor-related protein encoded on the opposite strand of the alpha-thyroid hormone receptor (TR) gene. This unusual genomic arrangement may have a regulatory role, but the conservation of human and rodent Rev-Erb amino acid sequences suggests that the protein itself has an important function, potentially as a sequence-specific transcriptional regulator. However, despite its relationship to the TR, Rev-Erb bound poorly to TR binding sites. To determine its DNA-binding specificity in an unbiased manner, Rev-Erb was synthesized in Escherichia coli, purified, and used to select specific binding-sites from libraries of random double-stranded DNA sequences. We found that Rev-Erb binds to a unique site consisting of a specific 5-bp A/T-rich sequence adjacent to a TR half-site. Rev-Erb contacts this entire asymmetric 11-bp sequence, which is the longest nonrepetitive element specifically recognized by a member of the thyroid/steroid hormone receptor superfamily, and mutations in either the A/T-rich or TR half-site regions abolished specific binding. The binding specificity of wild-type Rev-Erb was nearly identical to that of C- and N-terminally truncated forms. This binding was not enhanced by retinoid X receptor, TR, or other nuclear proteins, none of which formed heterodimers with Rev-Erb. Rev-Erb also appeared to bind to the selected site as a monomer. Furthermore, Rev-Erb activates transcription through this binding site even in the absence of exogenous ligand. Thus, Rev-Erb is a transcriptional activator whose properties differ dramatically from those of classical nuclear hormone receptors, including the TR encoded on the opposite strand of the same genomic locus.

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    • "The core nucleotides of response elements and the flanking nucleotides are shown in black and gray letters, respectively. The ROR response element (RORE) (Giguere et al. 1994) and REVERB response element (RRE) (Harding & Lazar 1993) are also shown in the figure. The underline indicates the positions of mutations. "
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