Histone acetylation and hSWI/SNF remodeling act in concert to stimulate V(D)J cleavage of nucleosomal DNA.
The ordered assembly of immunoglobulin and TCR genes by V(D)J recombination depends on the regulated accessibility of individual loci. We show here that the histone tails and intrinsic nucleosome structure pose significant impediments to V(D)J cleavage. However, alterations to nucleosome structure via histone acetylation or by stable hSWI/SNF-dependent remodeling greatly increase the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA to V(D)J cleavage. Moreover, acetylation and hSWI/SNF remodeling can act in concert on an individual nucleosome to achieve levels of V(D)J cleavage approaching those observed on naked DNA. These results are consistent with a model in which regulated recruitment of chromatin modifying activities is involved in mediating the lineage and stage-specific control of V(D)J recombination. (+info
An RNA-binding chameleon.
The arginine-rich RNA binding motif is found in a wide variety of proteins, including several viral regulatory proteins. Although related at the primary sequence level, arginine-rich domains from different proteins adopt different conformations depending on the RNA site recognized, and in some cases fold only in the context of RNA. Here we show that the RNA binding domain of the Jembrana disease virus (JDV) Tat protein is able to recognize two different TAR RNA sites, from human and bovine immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and BIV, respectively), adopting different conformations in the two RNA contexts and using different amino acids for recognition. In addition to the conformational differences, the JDV domain requires the cyclin T1 protein for high-affinity binding to HIV TAR, but not to BIV TAR. The "chameleon-like" behavior of the JDV Tat RNA binding domain reinforces the concept that RNA molecules can provide structural scaffolds for protein folding, and suggests mechanisms for evolving distinct RNA binding specificities from a single multifunctional domain. (+info
Activation of telomerase rna gene promoter activity by NF-Y, Sp1, and the retinoblastoma protein and repression by Sp3.
Expression of the human telomerase RNA component gene, hTERC is essential for telomerase activity. The hTERC gene is expressed during embryogenesis and then downregulated during normal development, leaving most adult somatic cells devoid of hTERC expression. During oncogenesis, however, hTERC is re-expressed consequently contributing to the unrestricted proliferative capacity of many human cancers. Thus the identification of the molecular basis for the regulation of the telomerase RNA component gene in normal cells and its deregulation in cancer cells is of immediate interest. We have previously cloned the hTERC promoter and in this study have identified several transcription factors that modulate the expression of hTERC. We demonstrate that NF-Y binding to the CCAAT region of the hTERC promoter is essential for promoter activity. Sp1 and the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) are activators of the hTERC promoter and Sp3 is a potent repressor. These factors appear to act in a species-specific manner. Whereas Sp1 and Sp3 act on the human, bovine, and mouse TERC promoters, pRb activates only the human and bovine promoter, and NF-Y is only essential for the human TERC gene. (+info
Opposing regulation of choline deficiency-induced apoptosis by p53 and nuclear factor kappaB.
We have previously shown that fetal rat brain cells, preneuronal (PC12), and hepatocyte (CWSV-1) cells undergo apoptosis during choline deficiency (CD). The PC12 and epithelial cell culture models were used to determine the molecular mechanism by which CD induces apoptosis. Our data indicate that CD leads to both growth arrest and apoptosis in a subpopulation of cells, which correlate with the up-regulation of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and concurrent up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase-inhibitor p21(WAF1/CIP1). Additionally, CD induced both a G1/S and a G2/M arrest. Transient transfection of a dominant negative p53 (p53DN) construct into PC12 cells, which inhibited endogenous p53 activation, significantly reduced the induction of apoptosis associated with CD. Interestingly, CD also induced the persistent activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Activation of NF-kappaB has been shown to promote cell survival and proposed to antagonize p53. Consistent with this, expression of a super-repressor form of IkappaBalpha (SR-IkappaBalpha) that functions to strongly inhibit NF-kappaB activation, profoundly enhanced cell death during CD. In summary, these results suggest that the effects of CD on apoptosis and subsequent cell survival are mediated through two different signaling pathways, p53 and NF-kappaB, respectively. Taken together, our data demonstrates the induction of opposing mechanisms associated with nutrient deficiency that may provide a molecular mechanism by which CD promotes carcinogenesis. (+info
Induction of the transcriptional repressor Yin Yang-1 by vascular cell injury. Autocrine/paracrine role of endogenous fibroblast growth factor-2.
Yin Yang-1 (YY1) is a multifunctional transcription factor that can repress the expression of many growth factor, hormone, and cytokine genes implicated in atherogenesis. YY1 expression is activated in rat vascular smooth muscle cells shortly after injury. YY1 DNA binding activity paralleled elevated protein levels in the nucleus. Smooth muscle cell injury triggered the rapid extracellular release of immunoreactive fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). YY1 induction after injury was blocked by neutralizing antibodies directed against FGF-2. This growth factor increased YY1 mRNA and protein expression and stimulated YY1 binding and transcriptional activity. Overexpression of YY1 inhibited smooth muscle cell replication. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated YY1 staining in medial smooth muscle cells, coincident with FGF-2 expression. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining, in contrast, was confined mainly to the atherosclerotic intima. This is the first demonstration that YY1 is induced by either injury or FGF-2, is differentially expressed in normal and diseased human arteries, and that its overexpression inhibits vascular smooth muscle but not endothelial cell replication. (+info
Ingenol esters induce apoptosis in Jurkat cells through an AP-1 and NF-kappaB independent pathway.
BACKGROUND: Ingenol derivatives have received constant and multidisciplinary attention on account of their pleiotropic pattern of biological activity. This includes activation of protein kinase C (PKC), tumour-promotion, anticancer, and anti-HIV properties, and the possibility of dissecting co-cancerogenic and clinically useful activities has been demonstrated. Certain ingenol esters show powerful anticancer activity, and a structure-activity relationship model to discriminate between their apoptotic and non-apoptotic properties has been developed. RESULTS: The polyhydroxylated southern region of ingenol was selectively modified, using the anticancer and PKC activator ingenol 3,20-dibenzoate (IDB) as a lead compound. The evaluation of IDB analogues in apoptosis assays showed strict structure-activity relationships, benzoylation of the 20-hydroxyl being required to trigger apoptosis through a pathway involving caspase-3 and occurring at the specific cell cycle checkpoint that controls the S-M phase transition. Conversely, a study on the activation of the PKC-dependent transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappaB by IDB analogues showed significant molecular flexibility, including tolerance to changes at the 3- and 20-hydroxyls. IDB-induced apoptosis was independent of activation of PKC, since it was not affected by treatment with the non-isoform-selective PKC inhibitor GF 109230X0. CONCLUSIONS: Remarkable deviations from the tumour-promotion pharmacophore were observed for both the apoptotic and the PKC-activating properties of IDB analogues, showing that ingenol is a viable template to selectively target crucial pathways involved in tumour promotion and development. Since the apoptotic and the PKC-activating properties of ingenoids are mediated by different pathways and governed by distinct structure-activity relationships, it is possible to dissect them by suitable chemical modification. In this context, the esterification pattern of the 5- and 20-hydroxyls is critical. (+info
CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins alpha and beta negatively influence the capacity of tumor necrosis factor alpha to up-regulate the human cytomegalovirus IE1/2 enhancer/promoter by nuclear factor kappaB during monocyte differentiation.
Recently we demonstrated that the ability of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) to stimulate the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) IE1/2 enhancer/promoter activity in myeloid progenitor-like cells decreases when these cells differentiate into promonocytic cells. In addition, TNFalpha stimulation in the progenitor-like cell line HL-60 was shown to be mediated by nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation and its binding to the 18-base pair sequence motifs of the IE1/2 enhancer. We demonstrate here that the cell differentiation-dependent reduction of TNFalpha stimulation is not due to insufficient NF-kappaB activation but correlates with increased synthesis of the monocyte differentiation-associated factors CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) alpha and beta. Overexpression of C/EBPalpha/beta in HL-60 cells, which normally produce only very small amounts of C/EBP, stimulated the basal activity of the promoter in the absence of NF-kappaB but suppressed the stimulatory effect of TNFalpha. A novel C/EBP-binding site was identified in the IE1/2 enhancer directly downstream of a NF-kappaB site. In order to understand the mechanisms of interaction, we used an IE1/2 promoter mutant that failed to bind C/EBP at this position and several constructs that contained exclusively NF-kappaB- and/or C/EBP-binding sites upstream of the minimal IE1/2 promoter. We could demonstrate that C/EBPalpha/beta interacts with NF-kappaB p65 and displays inhibitory activity even in the absence of direct DNA binding by forming p65-C/EBP-containing protein complexes bound to the NF-kappaB site. Moreover, C/EBP binding to the DNA adjacent to NF-kappaB supports the down-regulatory effect of C/EBPs possibly due to stabilization of a multimeric NF-kappaB-C/EBP complex. Our results show that cell differentiation factors may interfere with TNFalpha-induced human cytomegalovirus gene (re)activation. (+info
Cloning and characterization of a novel mouse AP-2 transcription factor, AP-2delta, with unique DNA binding and transactivation properties.
AP-2 transcription factors are sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins expressed in neural crest and other tissues during mammalian development. Three mammalian genes, AP-2alpha, AP-2beta, and AP-2gamma, have been reported previously. A partial predicted AP-2 gene was identified in tandem with AP-2beta on human chromosome 6p12-p21.1. The orthologous mouse gene, which we named Ap-2delta, was identified from a fetal mouse head cDNA library. Northern analysis revealed two transcripts in embryonic and newborn mouse brain, with markedly higher steady-state levels in the former. The predicted Ap-2delta protein comprised 452 amino acids and was highly similar to other AP-2 proteins across the DNA-binding and dimerization domains. Ap-2delta formed homodimers and heterodimers in vitro, bound an optimized AP-2 consensus DNA sequence, and transactivated gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Ap-2delta dimers bound poorly to an AP-2 binding sequence from the human metallothionein IIa promoter in vitro, revealing a sequence specificity not previously observed among other AP-2 proteins. The PY motif and critical residues in the transactivation domain, which are highly conserved in the AP-2 family and believed necessary for transactivation, were divergent in Ap-2delta. The unique protein sequence and functional features of Ap-2delta suggest mechanisms, besides tissue-specific AP-2 gene expression, for specific control of target gene activation. (+info