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      Whole-Genome Cartography of Estrogen Receptor α Binding Sites

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          Abstract

          Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation-paired end diTag cloning and sequencing strategy, we mapped estrogen receptor α (ERα) binding sites in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We identified 1,234 high confidence binding clusters of which 94% are projected to be bona fide ERα binding regions. Only 5% of the mapped estrogen receptor binding sites are located within 5 kb upstream of the transcriptional start sites of adjacent genes, regions containing the proximal promoters, whereas vast majority of the sites are mapped to intronic or distal locations (>5 kb from 5′ and 3′ ends of adjacent transcript), suggesting transcriptional regulatory mechanisms over significant physical distances. Of all the identified sites, 71% harbored putative full estrogen response elements (EREs), 25% bore ERE half sites, and only 4% had no recognizable ERE sequences. Genes in the vicinity of ERα binding sites were enriched for regulation by estradiol in MCF-7 cells, and their expression profiles in patient samples segregate ERα-positive from ERα-negative breast tumors. The expression dynamics of the genes adjacent to ERα binding sites suggest a direct induction of gene expression through binding to ERE-like sequences, whereas transcriptional repression by ERα appears to be through indirect mechanisms. Our analysis also indicates a number of candidate transcription factor binding sites adjacent to occupied EREs at frequencies much greater than by chance, including the previously reported FOXA1 sites, and demonstrate the potential involvement of one such putative adjacent factor, Sp1, in the global regulation of ERα target genes. Unexpectedly, we found that only 22%–24% of the bona fide human ERα binding sites were overlapping conserved regions in whole genome vertebrate alignments, which suggest limited conservation of functional binding sites. Taken together, this genome-scale analysis suggests complex but definable rules governing ERα binding and gene regulation.

          Author Summary

          Estrogen receptors (ERs) play key roles in facilitating the transcriptional effects of hormone functions in target tissues. To obtain a genome-wide view of ERα binding sites, we applied chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with a cloning and sequencing strategy using chromatin immunoprecipitation pair end-tagging technology to map ERα binding sites in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. We identified 1,234 high quality ERα binding sites in the human genome and demonstrated that the binding sites are frequently adjacent to genes significantly associated with breast cancer disease status and outcome. The mapping results also revealed that ERα can influence gene expression across distances of up to 100 kilobases or more, that genes that are induced or repressed utilize sites in different regions relative to the transcript (suggesting different mechanisms of action), and that ERα binding sites are only modestly conserved in evolution. Using computational approaches, we identified potential interactions with other transcription factor binding sites adjacent to the ERα binding elements. Taken together, these findings suggest complex but definable rules governing ERα binding and gene regulation and provide a valuable dataset for mapping the precise control nodes for one of the most important nuclear hormone receptors in breast cancer biology.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Genome-wide analysis of estrogen receptor binding sites.

          The estrogen receptor is the master transcriptional regulator of breast cancer phenotype and the archetype of a molecular therapeutic target. We mapped all estrogen receptor and RNA polymerase II binding sites on a genome-wide scale, identifying the authentic cis binding sites and target genes, in breast cancer cells. Combining this unique resource with gene expression data demonstrates distinct temporal mechanisms of estrogen-mediated gene regulation, particularly in the case of estrogen-suppressed genes. Furthermore, this resource has allowed the identification of cis-regulatory sites in previously unexplored regions of the genome and the cooperating transcription factors underlying estrogen signaling in breast cancer.
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            Cofactor dynamics and sufficiency in estrogen receptor-regulated transcription.

            Many cofactors bind the hormone-activated estrogen receptor (ER), yet the specific regulators of endogenous ER-mediated gene transcription are unknown. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we find that ER and a number of coactivators rapidly associate with estrogen responsive promoters following estrogen treatment in a cyclic fashion that is not predicted by current models of hormone activation. Cycles of ER complex assembly are followed by transcription. In contrast, the anti-estrogen tamoxifen (TAM) recruits corepressors but not coactivators. Using a genetic approach, we show that recruitment of the p160 class of coactivators is sufficient for gene activation and for the growth stimulatory actions of estrogen in breast cancer supporting a model in which ER cofactors play unique roles in estrogen signaling.
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              Estrogen receptor-alpha directs ordered, cyclical, and combinatorial recruitment of cofactors on a natural target promoter.

              Transcriptional activation of a gene involves an orchestrated recruitment of components of the basal transcription machinery and intermediate factors, concomitant with an alteration in local chromatin structure generated by posttranslational modifications of histone tails and nucleosome remodeling. We provide here a comprehensive picture of events resulting in transcriptional activation of a gene, through evaluating the estrogen receptor-alpha (NR3A1) target pS2 gene promoter in MCF-7 cells. This description integrates chromatin remodeling with a kinetic evaluation of cyclical networks of association of 46 transcription factors with the promoter, as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. We define the concept of a "transcriptional clock" that directs and achieves the sequential and combinatorial assembly of a transcriptionally productive complex on a promoter. Furthermore, the unanticipated findings of key roles for histone deacetylases and nucleosome-remodeling complexes in limiting transcription implies that transcriptional activation is a cyclical process that requires both activating and repressive epigenetic processes.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS Genet
                pgen
                plge
                plosgen
                PLoS Genetics
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1553-7390
                1553-7404
                June 2007
                1 June 2007
                17 April 2007
                : 3
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
                [2 ] Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, United States of America
                [3 ] Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
                Stanford University School of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes
                * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: liue@ 123456gis.a-star.edu.sg
                Article
                06-PLGE-RA-0429R3 plge-03-06-03
                10.1371/journal.pgen.0030087
                1885282
                17542648
                Copyright: © 2007 Lin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 19
                Categories
                Research Article
                Computational Biology
                Genetics and Genomics
                Oncology
                Mammals
                Homo (Human)
                Custom metadata
                Lin CY, Vega VB, Thomsen JS, Zhang T, Kong SL, et al. (2007) Whole-genome cartography of estrogen receptor α binding sites. PLoS Genet 3(6): e87. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030087

                Genetics

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