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      Regulation of the Human Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Gene by ets Transcription Factors

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          Objectives: Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine mainly produced by activated T lymphocytes. We previously demonstrated that human Jurkat T lymphoma cells represent a valid model of LIF gene expression. This study was designed to identify regions critical for LIF promoter activation in Jurkat cells. Methods: Luciferase constructs under the control of different portions of the human LIF promoter were transfected into Jurkat cells, and promoter activity was determined by luminometry. Similar experiments were performed with constructs bearing mutations in the putative ets binding regions in the LIF promoter. RT-PCR, Western blot and gelshift experiments were performed to study expression and DNA binding of ets factors in lymphoid cells. Results: With the exception of the shortest construct not including the putative ets binding sites, all wildtype LIF promoter constructs were strongly inducible by phorbol ester/ionomycin. In contrast, the mutant constructs were significantly less inducible. Cotransfection of the wild-type constructs with ets expression vectors resulted in significant enhancement of promoter activity. ets-1 and ets-2 mRNA and protein were shown to be expressed in Jurkat cells. Gelshift experiments revealed that proteins present in nuclear extracts from Jurkat cells specifically bind to both artificial ets consensus sites and ets binding sites present in the LIF promoter. Conclusions: We conclude that binding of ets transcription factors to the ets binding sites in the human LIF promoter is critical for its inducibility in response to T cell activators. ets transcription factors thus play an important functional role within the endocrine-immune network.

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          Most cited references 22

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          The ETS-domain transcription factor family.

          During recent years, several significant discoveries have been made concerning the function of ETS-domain transcription factors. This family of transcription factors was originally defined on the basis of the conserved primary sequence of their DNA-binding domains. The ETS DNA-binding domain is also conserved at the structural level and is a divergent member of the winged helix-turn-helix superfamily of DNA binding proteins. This sequence conservation is reflected by their overlapping DNA-binding specificities based on the central GGAA/T motif. In addition to DNA-protein interactions, protein-protein interactions with partner proteins often play major roles in targeting ETS-domain proteins to specific promoters. Several such partner proteins have been identified. ETS-domain proteins function as either transcriptional activators or repressors and their activities are often regulated by signal transduction pathways, including the MAP kinase pathways. Specific links between such pathways and ETS-domain proteins have been established in several different experimental systems. ETS-domain transcription factors regulate a diverse array of biological functions including mammalian haematopoiesis and Drosophila eye development. In vertebrates, many ETS-domain proteins regulate embryonic and adult haematopoiesis. Deregulation of ETS-domain protein activity often leads to tumorigenesis. Future work will uncover further details of how these transcription factors work at the molecular level to regulate specific biological processes.
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            A lipopolysaccharide-specific enhancer complex involving Ets, Elk-1, Sp1, and CREB binding protein and p300 is recruited to the tumor necrosis factor alpha promoter in vivo.

            The tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) gene is rapidly activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here, we show that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase activity but not calcineurin phosphatase activity is required for LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha gene expression. In LPS-stimulated macrophages, the ERK substrates Ets and Elk-1 bind to the TNF-alpha promoter in vivo. Strikingly, Ets and Elk-1 bind to two TNF-alpha nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT)-binding sites, which are required for calcineurin and NFAT-dependent TNF-alpha gene expression in lymphocytes. The transcription factors ATF-2, c-jun, Egr-1, and Sp1 are also inducibly recruited to the TNF-alpha promoter in vivo, and the binding sites for each of these activators are required for LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha gene expression. Furthermore, assembly of the LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha enhancer complex is dependent upon the coactivator proteins CREB binding protein and p300. The finding that a distinct set of transcription factors associates with a fixed set of binding sites on the TNF-alpha promoter in response to LPS stimulation lends new insights into the mechanisms by which complex patterns of gene regulation are achieved.
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              A dynamic assembly of diverse transcription factors integrates activation and cell-type information for interleukin 2 gene regulation.

              The interleukin 2 (IL-2) gene is subject to two types of regulation: its expression is T-lymphocyte-specific and it is acutely dependent on specific activation signals. The IL-2 transcriptional apparatus integrates multiple types of biochemical information in determining whether or not the gene will be expressed, using multiple diverse transcription factors that are each optimally activated or inhibited by different signaling pathways. When activation of one or two of these factors is blocked IL-2 expression is completely inhibited. The inability of the other, unaffected factors to work is explained by the striking finding that none of the factors interacts stably with its target site in the IL-2 enhancer unless all the factors are present. Coordinate occupancy of all the sites in the minimal enhancer is apparently maintained by continuous assembly and disassembly cycles that respond to the instantaneous levels of each factor in the nuclear compartment. In addition, the minimal enhancer undergoes specific increases in DNase I accessibility, consistent with dramatic changes in chromatin structure upon activation. Still to be resolved is what interaction(s) conveys T-lineage specificity. In the absence of activating signals, the minimal IL-2 enhancer region in mature T cells is apparently unoccupied, exactly as in non-T lineage cells. However, in a conserved but poorly studied upstream region, we have now mapped several novel sites of DNase I hypersensitivity in vivo that constitutively distinguish IL-2 producer type T cells from cell types that cannot express IL-2. Thus a distinct domain of the IL-2 regulatory sequence may contain sites for competence- or lineage-marking protein contacts.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2003
                17 October 2003
                : 11
                : 1
                : 10-19
                aInstitute of Pathology, and bDepartment of Medicine, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, and bIHF, Institute for Hormone and Fertility Research, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
                72964 Neuroimmunomodulation 2004;11:10–19
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 48, Pages: 10
                Original Paper


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