Selective genomic targeting by FRA-2/FOSL2 transcription factor: regulation of the Rgs4 gene is mediated by a variant activator protein 1 (AP-1) promoter sequence/CREB-binding protein (CBP) mechanism.
ABSTRACT FRA-2/FOSL2 is a basic region-leucine zipper motif transcription factor that is widely expressed in mammalian tissues. The functional repertoire of this factor is unclear, partly due to a lack of knowledge of genomic sequences that are targeted. Here, we identified novel, functional FRA-2 targets across the genome through expression profile analysis in a knockdown transgenic rat. In this model, a nocturnal rhythm of pineal gland FRA-2 is suppressed by a genetically encoded, dominant negative mutant protein. Bioinformatic analysis of validated sets of FRA-2-regulated and -nonregulated genes revealed that the FRA-2 regulon is limited by genomic target selection rules that, in general, transcend core cis-sequence identity. However, one variant AP-1-related (AP-1R) sequence was common to a subset of regulated genes. The functional activity and protein binding partners of a candidate AP-1R sequence were determined for a novel FRA-2-repressed gene, Rgs4. FRA-2 protein preferentially associated with a proximal Rgs4 AP-1R sequence as demonstrated by ex vivo ChIP and in vitro EMSA analysis; moreover, transcriptional repression was blocked by mutation of the AP-1R sequence, whereas mutation of an upstream consensus AP-1 family sequence did not affect Rgs4 expression. Nocturnal changes in protein complexes at the Rgs4 AP-1R sequence are associated with FRA-2-dependent dismissal of the co-activator, CBP; this provides a mechanistic basis for Rgs4 gene repression. These studies have also provided functional insight into selective genomic targeting by FRA-2, highlighting discordance between predicted and actual targets. Future studies should address FRA-2-Rgs4 interactions in other systems, including the brain, where FRA-2 function is poorly understood.
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ABSTRACT: Neuronal expression of the early growth response-1 (EGR-1; NGFI-A/Zif268) transcription factor has been extensively studied in the adult mammalian brain and linked to aspects of mature physiological/behavioral function. In contrast, this factor has not been studied in detail in the embryonic brain. Here, we used a fluorescent protein-encoding Egr-1 transgene to map the cellular distribution of Egr-1 transcription in embryonic rat brain. We identified a novel, widely distributed population of GFP(+) cells, characterized as a precursor/stem cell phenotype by co-localization with SOX2/nestin/vimentin/S-100β and exclusion from other known cellular markers including DCX/BLBP/TBR2/NURR1. At both E18 and E20, these cells were located across the developing brain but concentrated in the subplate and intermediate zones. The transgene was also highly expressed in developing (NeuN(+)) striatal neurons. The authentic expression pattern that we observed for the rEgr-1 transgene sequence indicates that restriction to neuronal/precursor cells is largely driven by proximal 5(') sequence. Deletion of conserved Egr-1 silencer (neuron restrictive silencer factor) elements did not markedly alter transcriptional activity in transfected cells; this is consistent with a dominant role for positive factors in the control of cell-specific Egr-1 expression. Induction of Egr-1 in a population of SOX2(+) cells indicates a co-incidence of extrinsic (EGR-1) and cell-intrinsic (SOX2) cellular signals that may form a novel level of progenitor cell regulation. The wide distribution of EGR-1 signaling in SOX2(+) cells suggests an organizational role during late embryonic brain development.Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 05/2011; 4:6. DOI:10.3389/fnmol.2011.00006
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ABSTRACT: Regulator of G-protein Signaling 4 (RGS4) plays an important role in regulating smooth muscle contraction, cardiac development, neural plasticity and psychiatric disorder. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain elusive. Our recent studies have shown that upregulation of Rgs4 by interleukin (IL)-1β is mediated by the activation of NFκB signaling and modulated by extracellular signal-regulated kinases, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and phosphoinositide-3 kinase. Here we investigate the effect of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway on Rgs4 expression in rabbit colonic smooth muscle cells. Cultured cells at first passage were treated with or without IL-1β (10 ng/ml) in the presence or absence of the selective JNK inhibitor (SP600125) or JNK small hairpin RNA (shRNA). The expression levels of Rgs4 mRNA and protein were determined by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot respectively. SP600125 or JNK shRNA increased Rgs4 expression in the absence or presence of IL-1β stimulation. Overexpression of MEKK1, the key upstream kinase of JNK, inhibited Rgs4 expression, which was reversed by co-expression of JNK shRNA or dominant-negative mutants for MKK4 or JNK. Both constitutive and inducible upregulation of Rgs4 expression by SP600125 was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with the transcription inhibitor, actinomycin D. Dual reporter assay showed that pretreatment with SP600125 sensitized the promoter activity of Rgs4 in response to IL-1β. Mutation of the AP1-binding site within Rgs4 promoter increased the promoter activity. Western blot analysis confirmed that IL-1β treatment increased the phosphorylation of JNK, ATF-2 and c-Jun. Gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays validated that IL-1β increased the in vitro and ex vivo binding activities of AP1 within rabbit Rgs4 promoter. Activation of MEKK1-MKK4-JNK-AP1 signal pathway plays a tonic inhibitory role in regulating Rgs4 transcription in rabbit colonic smooth muscle cells. This negative regulation may aid in maintaining the transient level of RGS4 expression.PLoS ONE 04/2012; 7(4):e35646. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0035646 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: ZEB2 is a transcription factor with established roles in neurogenesis but no defined function in postnatal brain despite extensive neuronal expression in telencephalic structures. Multiple, incompletely annotated transcripts derive from the Zeb2 locus; the purpose of the present study was to structurally characterize rat brain Zeb2 transcripts with respect to 3′ untranslated (UTR) sequence in order to understand Zeb2 transcript regulation including possible interactions with regulatory molecules such as neuronal miRNAs. We cloned a 5054-nucleotide Zeb2 3′ UTR that is included in the most abundant Zeb2 transcript in neonatal rat brain. Unique features of the distal 3′ UTR region included a number of brain-specific miRNA target sites; a highly conserved miR-9 target site at 3′ UTR position 4097 was selected for functional verification in transfection experiments. Parallel analysis of Zeb2 transcript, ZEB2 protein and miR-9 levels across postnatal brain cortical development revealed a significant accumulation of ZEB2 protein levels only between postnatal days P2 and P5 that was associated with an acute loss of postnatal miR-9 expression in cortex. These studies demonstrate novel features of Zeb2 gene expression in postnatal rat brain and highlight the importance of full transcript annotation for identifying the complement of potential transcript-interacting regulators.Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12031-013-0146-x · 2.76 Impact Factor