Regulation of PURA gene transcription by three promoters generating distinctly spliced 5-prime leaders: a novel means of fine control over tissue specificity and viral signals

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 700 W, Olney Road, Norfolk, VA 23507, USA.
BMC Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 2.06). 11/2010; 11:81. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2199-11-81
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Purα is an evolutionarily conserved cellular protein participating in processes of DNA replication, transcription, and RNA transport; all involving binding to nucleic acids and altering conformation and physical positioning. The distinct but related roles of Purα suggest a need for expression regulated differently depending on intracellular and external signals.
Here we report that human PURA (hPURA) transcription is regulated from three distinct and widely-separated transcription start sites (TSS). Each of these TSS is strongly homologous to a similar site in mouse chromosomal DNA. Transcripts from TSS I and II are characterized by the presence of large and overlapping 5'-UTR introns terminated at the same splice receptor site. Transfection of lung carcinoma cells with wild-type or mutated hPURA 5' upstream sequences identifies different regulatory elements. TSS III, located within 80 bp of the translational start codon, is upregulated by E2F1, CAAT and NF-Y binding elements. Transcription at TSS II is downregulated through the presence of adjacent consensus binding elements for interferon regulatory factors (IRFs). Chromatin immunoprecipitation reveals that IRF-3 protein binds hPURA promoter sequences at TSS II in vivo. By co-transfecting hPURA reporter plasmids with expression plasmids for IRF proteins we demonstrate that several IRFs, including IRF-3, down-regulate PURA transcription. Infection of NIH 3T3 cells with mouse cytomegalovirus results in a rapid decrease in levels of mPURA mRNA and Purα protein. The viral infection alters the degree of splicing of the 5'-UTR introns of TSS II transcripts.
Results provide evidence for a novel mechanism of transcriptional control by multiple promoters used differently in various tissues and cells. Viral infection alters not only the use of PURA promoters but also the generation of different non-coding RNAs from 5'-UTRs of the resulting transcripts.

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Available from: Laura K Hanson, Aug 16, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The PUR domain is a nucleic acid-binding motif found in critical regulatory proteins of higher eukaryotes and in certain species of bacteria. During investigations into mechanisms by which the Lyme disease spirochete controls synthesis of its Erp surface proteins, it was discovered that the borrelial PUR domain protein, Bpur, binds with high affinity to double-stranded DNA adjacent to the erp transcriptional promoter. Bpur was found to enhance the effects of the erp repressor protein, BpaB. Bpur also bound single-stranded DNA and RNA, with relative affinities RNA > double-stranded DNA > single-stranded DNA. Rational site-directed mutagenesis of Bpur identified amino acid residues and domains critical for interactions with nucleic acids, and it revealed that the PUR domain has a distinct mechanism of interaction with each type of nucleic acid ligand. These data shed light on both gene regulation in the Lyme spirochete and functional mechanisms of the widely distributed PUR domain.
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