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(1/18446) Requirement of a novel gene, Xin, in cardiac morphogenesis.

A novel gene, Xin, from chick (cXin) and mouse (mXin) embryonic hearts, may be required for cardiac morphogenesis and looping. Both cloned cDNAs have a single open reading frame, encoding proteins with 2,562 and 1,677 amino acids for cXin and mXin, respectively. The derived amino acid sequences share 46% similarity. The overall domain structures of the predicted cXin and mXin proteins, including proline-rich regions, 16 amino acid repeats, DNA-binding domains, SH3-binding motifs and nuclear localization signals, are highly conserved. Northern blot analyses detect a single message of 8.9 and 5.8 kilo base (kb) from both cardiac and skeletal muscle of chick and mouse, respectively. In situ hybridization reveals that the cXin gene is specifically expressed in cardiac progenitor cells of chick embryos as early as stage 8, prior to heart tube formation. cXin continues to be expressed in the myocardium of developing hearts. By stage 15, cXin expression is also detected in the myotomes of developing somites. Immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that the mXin protein is colocalized with N-cadherin and connexin-43 in the intercalated discs of adult mouse hearts. Incubation of stage 6 chick embryos with cXin antisense oligonucleotides results in abnormal cardiac morphogenesis and an alteration of cardiac looping. The myocardium of the affected hearts becomes thickened and tends to form multiple invaginations into the heart cavity. This abnormal cellular process may account in part for the abnormal looping. cXin expression can be induced by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in explants of anterior medial mesoendoderm from stage 6 chick embryos, a tissue that is normally non-cardiogenic. This induction occurs following the BMP-mediated induction of two cardiac-restricted transcription factors, Nkx2.5 and MEF2C. Furthermore, either MEF2C or Nkx2.5 can transactivate a luciferase reporter driven by the mXin promoter in mouse fibroblasts. These results suggest that Xin may participate in a BMP-Nkx2.5-MEF2C pathway to control cardiac morphogenesis and looping.  (+info)

(2/18446) Cancer genetics: tumor suppressor meets oncogene.

The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor protein is inactivated by mutations in the majority of colorectal cancers. A recent study has revealed that alterations in the APC signaling pathway can result in the transcriptional activation of the c-MYC gene.  (+info)

(3/18446) Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL serve an anti-inflammatory function in endothelial cells through inhibition of NF-kappaB.

To maintain the integrity of the vascular barrier, endothelial cells (EC) are resistant to cell death. The molecular basis of this resistance may be explained by the function of antiapoptotic genes such as bcl family members. Overexpression of Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL protects EC from tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-mediated apoptosis. In addition, Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL inhibits activation of NF-kappaB and thus upregulation of proinflammatory genes. Bcl-2-mediated inhibition of NF-kappaB in EC occurs upstream of IkappaBalpha degradation without affecting p65-mediated transactivation. Overexpression of bcl genes in EC does not affect other transcription factors. Using deletion mutants of Bcl-2, the NF-kappaB inhibitory function of Bcl-2 was mapped to bcl homology domains BH2 and BH4, whereas all BH domains were required for the antiapoptotic function. These data suggest that Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL belong to a cytoprotective response that counteracts proapoptotic and proinflammatory insults and restores the physiological anti-inflammatory phenotype to the EC. By inhibiting NF-kappaB without sensitizing the cells (as with IkappaBalpha) to TNF-mediated apoptosis, Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL are prime candidates for genetic engineering of EC in pathological conditions where EC loss and unfettered activation are undesirable.  (+info)

(4/18446) B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through SP1-binding sites.

B-MYB is an ubiquitous protein required for mammalian cell growth. In this report we show that B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through a 120 bp segment proximal to the transcription start site. The B-MYB-responsive element does not contain myb-binding sites and gel-shift analysis shows that SP1, but not B-MYB, protein contained in SAOS2 cell extracts binds to the 120 bp B-myb promoter fragment. B-MYB-dependent transactivation is cooperatively increased in the presence of SP1, but not SP3 overexpression. When the SP1 elements of the B-myb promoter are transferred in front of a heterologous promoter, an increased response to B-MYB results. In contrast, c-MYB, the prototype member of the Myb family, is not able to activate the luciferase construct containing the SP1 elements. With the use of an SP1-GAL4 fusion protein, we have determined that the cooperative activation occurs through the domain A of SP1. These observations suggest that B-MYB functions as a coactivator of SP1, and that diverse combinations of myb and SP1 sites may dictate the responsiveness of myb-target genes to the various members of the myb family.  (+info)

(5/18446) Deletion of a region that is a candidate for the difference between the deletion forms of hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin and deltabeta-thalassemia affects beta- but not gamma-globin gene expression.

The analysis of a number of cases of beta-globin thalassemia and hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) due to large deletions in the beta-globin locus has led to the identification of several DNA elements that have been implicated in the switch from human fetal gamma- to adult beta-globin gene expression. We have tested this hypothesis for an element that covers the minimal distance between the thalassemia and HPFH deletions and is thought to be responsible for the difference between a deletion HPFH and deltabeta-thalassemia, located 5' of the delta-globin gene. This element has been deleted from a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing the complete human beta-globin locus. Analysis of this modified YAC in transgenic mice shows that early embryonic expression is unaffected, but in the fetal liver it is subject to position effects. In addition, the efficiency of transcription of the beta-globin gene is decreased, but the developmental silencing of the gamma-globin genes is unaffected by the deletion. These results show that the deleted element is involved in the activation of the beta-globin gene perhaps through the loss of a structural function required for gene activation by long-range interactions.  (+info)

(6/18446) Assembly requirements of PU.1-Pip (IRF-4) activator complexes: inhibiting function in vivo using fused dimers.

Gene expression in higher eukaryotes appears to be regulated by specific combinations of transcription factors binding to regulatory sequences. The Ets factor PU.1 and the IRF protein Pip (IRF-4) represent a pair of interacting transcription factors implicated in regulating B cell-specific gene expression. Pip is recruited to its binding site on DNA by phosphorylated PU.1. PU.1-Pip interaction is shown to be template directed and involves two distinct protein-protein interaction surfaces: (i) the ets and IRF DNA-binding domains; and (ii) the phosphorylated PEST region of PU.1 and a lysine-requiring putative alpha-helix in Pip. Thus, a coordinated set of protein-protein and protein-DNA contacts are essential for PU.1-Pip ternary complex assembly. To analyze the function of these factors in vivo, we engineered chimeric repressors containing the ets and IRF DNA-binding domains connected by a flexible POU domain linker. When stably expressed, the wild-type fused dimer strongly repressed the expression of a rearranged immunoglobulin lambda gene, thereby establishing the functional importance of PU.1-Pip complexes in B cell gene expression. Comparative analysis of the wild-type dimer with a series of mutant dimers distinguished a gene regulated by PU.1 and Pip from one regulated by PU.1 alone. This strategy should prove generally useful in analyzing the function of interacting transcription factors in vivo, and for identifying novel genes regulated by such complexes.  (+info)

(7/18446) The amino-terminal C/H1 domain of CREB binding protein mediates zta transcriptional activation of latent Epstein-Barr virus.

Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is maintained as a nucleosome-covered episome that can be transcriptionally activated by overexpression of the viral immediate-early protein, Zta. We show here that reactivation of latent EBV by Zta can be significantly enhanced by coexpression of the cellular coactivators CREB binding protein (CBP) and p300. A stable complex containing both Zta and CBP could be isolated from lytically stimulated, but not latently infected RAJI nuclear extracts. Zta-mediated viral reactivation and transcriptional activation were both significantly inhibited by coexpression of the E1A 12S protein but not by an N-terminal deletion mutation of E1A (E1ADelta2-36), which fails to bind CBP. Zta bound directly to two related cysteine- and histidine-rich domains of CBP, referred to as C/H1 and C/H3. These domains both interacted specifically with the transcriptional activation domain of Zta in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Interestingly, we found that the C/H3 domain was a potent dominant negative inhibitor of Zta transcriptional activation function. In contrast, an amino-terminal fragment containing the C/H1 domain was sufficient for coactivation of Zta transcription and viral reactivation function. Thus, CBP can stimulate the transcription of latent EBV in a histone acetyltransferase-independent manner mediated by the CBP amino-terminal C/H1-containing domain. We propose that CBP may regulate aspects of EBV latency and reactivation by integrating cellular signals mediated by competitive interactions between C/H1, C/H3, and the Zta activation domain.  (+info)

(8/18446) Smad3-Smad4 and AP-1 complexes synergize in transcriptional activation of the c-Jun promoter by transforming growth factor beta.

Transcriptional regulation by transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a complex process which is likely to involve cross talk between different DNA responsive elements and transcription factors to achieve maximal promoter activation and specificity. Here, we describe a concurrent requirement for two discrete responsive elements in the regulation of the c-Jun promoter, one a binding site for a Smad3-Smad4 complex and the other an AP-1 binding site. The two elements are located 120 bp apart in the proximal c-Jun promoter, and each was able to independently bind its corresponding transcription factor complex. The effects of independently mutating each of these elements were nonadditive; disruption of either sequence resulted in complete or severe reductions in TGF-beta responsiveness. This simultaneous requirement for two distinct and independent DNA binding elements suggests that Smad and AP-1 complexes function synergistically to mediate TGF-beta-induced transcriptional activation of the c-Jun promoter.  (+info)