ABSTRACT: Transcriptional activation by nuclear hormone receptors is well characterized, but their cooperation with other signaling pathways to activate transcription remains poorly understood. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and all-trans retinoic acid (RA) induce monocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells in a synergistic manner. We used the promoter of DIF2, a gene involved in monocytic differentiation, to model the mechanism underlying the cooperative induction of target genes by RA and TNFalpha. We show a functional RA response element in the DIF2 promoter, which is constitutively bound by PML/RARalpha in APL cells. RA stimulates release of corepressors and recruitment of chromatin modifying proteins and additional transcription factors to the promoter, but these changes cause only a modest induction of DIF2 mRNA. Co-stimulation with RA plus TNFalpha facilitates binding of NF-kappaB to the promoter, which is crucial for full induction of transcription. Furthermore, RA plus TNFalpha greatly enhanced the level of RNA Pol II phosphorylation on the DIF2 promoter, via synergistic recruitment of TFIIH. We propose that RA mediates remodeling of chromatin to facilitate binding of transcription factors, which cooperate to enhance Pol II phosphorylation, providing a mechanism whereby nuclear receptors interact with other signaling pathways on the level of transcription.
Nucleic Acids Research 03/2008; 36(2):435-43. · 8.03 Impact Factor