ABSTRACT: The transcription factor NF-κB is a critical regulator of immune responses. To determine how NF-κB builds transcriptional control networks, we need to obtain a topographic map of the factor bound to the genome and correlate it with global gene expression. We used a ChIP cloning technique and identified novel NF-κB target genes in response to virus infection. We discovered that most of the NF-κB-bound genomic sites deviate from the consensus and are located away from conventional promoter regions. Remarkably, we identified a novel abundant NF-κB-binding site residing in specialized Alu-repetitive elements having the potential for long range transcription regulation, thus suggesting that in addition to its known role, NF-κB has a primate-specific function and a role in human evolution. By combining these data with global gene expression profiling of virus-infected cells, we found that most of the sites bound by NF-κB in the human genome do not correlate with changes in gene expression of the nearby genes and they do not appear to function in the context of synthetic promoters. These results demonstrate that repetitive elements interspersed in the human genome function as common target sites for transcription factors and may play an important role in expanding the repertoire of binding sites to engage new genes into regulatory networks.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2011; 286(44):38768-82. · 4.77 Impact Factor