USF1

Gene Summary

Gene:USF1; upstream transcription factor 1
Aliases: UEF, FCHL, MLTF, FCHL1, MLTFI, HYPLIP1, bHLHb11
Location:1q22-q23
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper family, and can function as a cellular transcription factor. The encoded protein can activate transcription through pyrimidine-rich initiator (Inr) elements and E-box motifs. This gene has been linked to familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL). Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. A related pseudogene has been defined on chromosome 21. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:upstream stimulatory factor 1
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Promoter Regions
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transfection
  • DNA Methylation
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 1
  • Protein Binding
  • Breast Cancer
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Messenger RNA
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Transcription
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
  • Liver Cancer
  • E-Box Elements
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Binding Sites
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • ras Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Trans-Activators
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Mutation
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HeLa Cells
  • Colonic Neoplasms
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: USF1 (cancer-related)

Toropainen S, Malinen M, Kaikkonen S, et al.
SUMO ligase PIAS1 functions as a target gene selective androgen receptor coregulator on prostate cancer cell chromatin.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(2):848-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that plays a central role in the development and growth of prostate carcinoma. PIAS1 is an AR- and SUMO-interacting protein and a putative transcriptional coregulator overexpressed in prostate cancer. To study the importance of PIAS1 for the androgen-regulated transcriptome of VCaP prostate cancer cells, we silenced its expression by RNAi. Transcriptome analyses revealed that a subset of the AR-regulated genes is significantly influenced, either activated or repressed, by PIAS1 depletion. Interestingly, PIAS1 depletion also exposed a new set of genes to androgen regulation, suggesting that PIAS1 can mask distinct genomic loci from AR access. In keeping with gene expression data, silencing of PIAS1 attenuated VCaP cell proliferation. ChIP-seq analyses showed that PIAS1 interacts with AR at chromatin sites harboring also SUMO2/3 and surrounded by H3K4me2; androgen exposure increased the number of PIAS1-occupying sites, resulting in nearly complete overlap with AR chromatin binding events. PIAS1 interacted also with the pioneer factor FOXA1. Of note, PIAS1 depletion affected AR chromatin occupancy at binding sites enriched for HOXD13 and GATA motifs. Taken together, PIAS1 is a genuine chromatin-bound AR coregulator that functions in a target gene selective fashion to regulate prostate cancer cell growth.

Zhou X, Zhu HQ, Ma CQ, et al.
Two polymorphisms of USF1 gene (-202G>A and -844C>T) may be associated with hepatocellular carcinoma susceptibility based on a case-control study in Chinese Han population.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(12):301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prototype of liver cancer, which is closely related to manifested metabolism of lip and glucose. Upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1) is an important transcription factor in human genome, and it regulates the expression of multiple genes associated with lipid and glucose metabolism. This study aims at investigating the correlation between seven common USF1 polymorphisms (i.e., -1994 G>A, -202 G>A, 7998 A>G, -844 C>T, 9042 C>G, 9441 T>C, and -2083 G>A) and the risk of HCC. Elucidation of the interaction might be of vital importance to the diagnosis and prognosis of HCC. One hundred and fifty-five HCC patients and 160 healthy controls from a Chinese Han population were involved in this study. Tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified with reference to CBI-dbSNP and HapMap databases. DNA was extracted from blood samples, and matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was conducted to determine the polymorphisms of USF1. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval were applied to evaluate the difference of genotype distribution. Seven SNPs were selected to be representatives. No significant difference was observed concerning -1994 G>A, 7998 A>G, 9042 C>G, 9441 T>C, and -2083 G>A polymorphisms (all P > 0.05). A significantly elevated genotype frequency regarding -202 G>A polymorphism was observed in HCC patients [AA vs. GG: OR 2.13 (1.13-4.01), P = 0.019; AA vs. GG+GA: OR 2.22 (1.32-3.75), P = 0.003; A allele vs. G allele: OR 1.46 (1.07-2.01), P = 0.018]. Subjects carrying mutant -844 C>T genotypes also had a higher risk of HCC [CT vs. CC: OR 1.88 (1.17-3.04), P = 0.009; CT+TT vs. CC: OR 1.83 (1.17-2.86), P = 0.008; T allele vs. C allele: OR 1.49 (1.06-2.09), P = 0.020]. Further studies are recommended to validate our findings in different ethnicity and to clarify the functional relationship between USF1 polymorphisms and the susceptibility of HCC.

Chen B, Chen XP, Wu MS, et al.
Expressions of heparanase and upstream stimulatory factor in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Eur J Med Res. 2014; 19:45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of heparanase (HPSE) was associated with postoperative metastatic recurrence in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The six E-box binding sites in the core promoter of the HPSE gene suggested that transcription factors of E-box such as upstream stimulatory factor (USF) might regulate the transcription of the HPSE gene. The aim of our study is to measure the levels of HPSE and USF expression and investigate the relationship between USF expression and clinicopathological parameters in patients with HCC.
METHODS: HPSE, USF1 and USF2 expressions in human HCC cell lines (BEL-7402, HepG2 and HCCLM3) and 15 fresh human HCC tissue samples were measured by real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR and Western blot analysis. The normal liver cell line QSG7701 or fresh normal liver tissue samples obtained from 15 additional surgical patients with hepatic rupture was used as a control. The protein expressions were determined by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded human HCC tissues and corresponding non-neoplastic tumor surrounding tissues (NTST) of 57 patients.
RESULTS: HPSE, USF1 and USF2 mRNA expressions were increased in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues compared with normal liver cell line and normal liver tissue. The protein expressions of HPSE, USF1 and USF2 in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues were also increased. Both USF1 and USF2 expressions were positively correlated with HPSE. USF1 and USF2 expressions were increased in patients with liver cirrhosis, worse tissue differentiation, advanced HCC stages and metastatic recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased USF in HCC is associated with HPSE expression. USF might be an important factor in regulating HPSE expression and act as a novel marker of metastatic recurrence of HCC patients.

Sutinen P, Malinen M, Heikkinen S, Palvimo JJ
SUMOylation modulates the transcriptional activity of androgen receptor in a target gene and pathway selective manner.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(13):8310-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR) plays an important regulatory role in prostate cancer. AR's transcriptional activity is regulated by androgenic ligands, but also by post-translational modifications, such as SUMOylation. To study the role of AR SUMOylation in genuine chromatin environment, we compared androgen-regulated gene expression and AR chromatin occupancy in PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines stably expressing wild-type (wt) or doubly SUMOylation site-mutated AR (AR-K386R,K520R). Our genome-wide gene expression analyses reveal that the SUMOylation modulates the AR function in a target gene and pathway selective manner. The transcripts that are differentially regulated by androgen and SUMOylation are linked to cellular movement, cell death, cellular proliferation, cellular development and cell cycle. Fittingly, SUMOylation mutant AR cells proliferate faster and are more sensitive to apoptosis. Moreover, ChIP-seq analyses show that the SUMOylation can modulate the chromatin occupancy of AR on many loci in a fashion that parallels their differential androgen-regulated expression. De novo motif analyses reveal that FOXA1, C/EBP and AP-1 motifs are differentially enriched at the wtAR- and the AR-K386R,K520R-preferred genomic binding positions. Taken together, our data indicate that SUMOylation does not simply repress the AR activity, but it regulates AR's interaction with the chromatin and the receptor's target gene selection.

Leinonen HM, Kansanen E, Pölönen P, et al.
Role of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway in cancer.
Adv Cancer Res. 2014; 122:281-320 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1)-nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway is one of the major signaling cascades involved in cell defense and survival against endogenous and exogenous stress. While Nrf2 and its target genes provide protection against various age-related diseases including tumorigenesis, constitutively active Nrf2 in cancer cells increases the expression of cytoprotective genes and, consequently, enhances proliferation via metabolic reprogramming and inhibition of apoptosis. Herein, we review the current understanding of the regulation of Nrf2 in normal cells as well as its dual role in cancer. Furthermore, the mechanisms of Nrf2 dysregulation in cancer, consequences of unchecked Nrf2 activity, and therapies targeting the Keap1-Nrf2 system are discussed.

Uimonen K, Merikallio H, Pääkkö P, et al.
GASC1 expression in lung carcinoma is associated with smoking and prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma.
Histol Histopathol. 2014; 29(6):797-804 [PubMed] Related Publications
GASC1 (gene amplified in squamous cell carcinoma 1) encodes a nuclear protein that epigenetically catalyses the lysine demethylation of histones. We investigated the expression of GASC1 in different histological subtypes of lung cancer (n=289). Percentage value of GASC1 immunohistochemical expression was evaluated separately in the nuclei and cytoplasms of epithelial cancer cells. The results were compared with clinicopathologic factors and the smoking history of the patients. In lung tumor cells, 38% of nuclei and 54% of the cytoplasms stained positive for GASC1. Adenocarcinomas expressed more GASC1 nuclear (p=0.00011) and cytoplasmic (p=0.00074) positivity than squamous cell carcinoma. Smokers displayed less nuclear and cytoplasmic GASC1 expression than non-smokers (p=0.028 and p=0.036, respectively). Similarly, patients with more cytoplasmic positive staining had fewer pack years (p=0.043). Nuclear GASC1 expression had an impairing effect on survival when all histological lung cancer types were analysed together (p=0.039) and separately in squamous cell lung carcinoma (p=0.016). The results reveal that GASC1 expression is higher in adenocarcinoma than squamous cell carcinoma. Smoking decreases GASC1 expression in tumor cells, indicating that tobacco smoke may influence the methylation of histone 3 lysine residues in lung cancer. Nonetheless, nuclear GASC1 predicts a poor prognosis, especially in squamous cell carcinoma.

Qiu X, Zhang L, Lu S, et al.
Upregulation of DNMT1 mediated by HBx suppresses RASSF1A expression independent of DNA methylation.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(1):202-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) plays a key role in the molecular pathogenesis of HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its critical gene targets remain largely unknown. RASSF1A gene (Ras-association domain family 1A, RASSF1A), a tumor-suppressor gene, is frequently found to be hypermethylated and downregulated in HCC. In the present study, we investigated whether HBx is involved in the hypermethylation and downregulation of RASSF1A and we examined the potential regulation mechanisms. RT-PCR analysis was used to determine RASSF1A and HBx expression in 9 liver cell lines and the results showed that RASSF1A expression was relatively low in HBx-positive cells. Notably, RASSF1A was downregulated in HepG2.2.15 cells, as compared to HepG2 cells. Further analysis revealed that HBx transfection suppressed RASSF1A expression and HBx knockdown induced its expression. Enforced HBx suppressed RASSF1A and meanwhile induced DNMT1 and DNMT3B expression. In addition, RASSF1A is negatively regulated by DNMT1. ChIP analysis using an antibody against DNMT1 revealed that HBx enhanced the binding of DNMT1 to the RASSF1A promoter but the inhibition of RASSF1A by HBx is DNA methylation-independent as detected by methylation-specific PCR (MSP). Further studies using MSP and bisulfite genomic sequencing (BGS) revealed that no significant methylation changes were observed for regional methylation levels of RASSF1A in DNMT1 knockdown cells, although methylation levels of specific CpG sites at the predicted binding sites for the Sp1 and USF transcription factors were reduced. Additionally, RASSF1A was downregulated in HBV-associated HCC (HBV-HCC) as detected by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry suggesting RASSF1A expression may be related to HBx in HCC and the clinical relevance of our observations. Collectively, our data showed that HBx suppressed RASSF1A expression via DNMT1 and offered a new mechanism of RASSF1A inactive in HCC in addition to the widely known DNA methylation, enriching the epigenetic mechanism by which HBx contributes to the pathogenesis of HBV-HCC.

Li J, Xu YH, Lu Y, et al.
Identifying differentially expressed genes and small molecule drugs for prostate cancer by a bioinformatics strategy.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(9):5281-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Prostate cancer caused by the abnormal disorderly growth of prostatic acinar cells is the most prevalent cancer of men in western countries. We aimed to screen out differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and explore small molecule drugs for prostate cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The GSE3824 gene expression profile of prostate cancer was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database which including 21 normal samples and 18 prostate cancer cells. The DEGs were identified by Limma package in R language and gene ontology and pathway enrichment analyses were performed. In addition, potential regulatory microRNAs and the target sites of the transcription factors were screened out based on the molecular signature database. In addition, the DEGs were mapped to the connectivity map database to identify potential small molecule drugs.
RESULTS: A total of 6,588 genes were filtered as DEGs between normal and prostate cancer samples. Examples such as ITGB6, ITGB3, ITGAV and ITGA2 may induce prostate cancer through actions on the focal adhesion pathway. Furthermore, the transcription factor, SP1, and its target genes ARHGAP26 and USF1 were identified. The most significant microRNA, MIR-506, was screened and found to regulate genes including ITGB1 and ITGB3. Additionally, small molecules MS-275, 8-azaguanine and pyrvinium were discovered to have the potential to repair the disordered metabolic pathways, abd furthermore to remedy prostate cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of our analysis bear on the mechanism of prostate cancer and allow screening for small molecular drugs for this cancer. The findings have the potential for future use in the clinic for treatment of prostate cancer.

Ikeda R, Nishizawa Y, Tajitsu Y, et al.
Regulation of major vault protein expression by upstream stimulating factor 1 in SW620 human colon cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(1):197-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
Major vault protein (MVP) is the main constituent of the vault ribonucleoprotein particle and is identical to lung resistance-related protein (LRP). Although MVP is also expressed in several types of normal tissues, little is known about its physiological role. In the present study, we identified the crucial MVP promoter elements that regulate MVP expression. An examination of tissue expression profiles revealed that MVP was expressed in the heart, placenta, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. Elements of the MVP promoter contain binding sites for transcription factors, STAT, p53, Sp1, E-box, GATA, MyoD and Y-box. By deletion analysis, a conserved proximal E-box binding site was demonstrated to be important for human MVP promoter transactivation. Introduction of siRNA against upstream stimulating factor (USF) 1, which is known to bind the E-box binding site, decreased the expression of MVP in SW620 and ACHN cells. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay, USF1 bound the MVP promoter in SW620 cells. These findings suggest that USF1 binding to an E-box element may be critical for basal MVP promoter activation. The results of the present study are useful in understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating MVP gene expression, and may aid in elucidating the physiological functions of MVP.

Siiskonen H, Poukka M, Tyynelä-Korhonen K, et al.
Inverse expression of hyaluronidase 2 and hyaluronan synthases 1-3 is associated with reduced hyaluronan content in malignant cutaneous melanoma.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:181 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hyaluronan is an extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan involved in invasion, proliferation and metastasis of various types of carcinomas. In many cancers, aberrant hyaluronan expression implicates disease progression and metastatic potential. Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer. The role of hyaluronan in melanoma progression including benign nevi and lymph node metastases has not been investigated earlier, nor the details of its synthesis and degradation.
METHODS: The melanocytic and dysplastic nevi, in situ melanomas, superficially and deeply invasive melanomas and their lymph node metastases were analysed immunohistochemically for the amount of hyaluronan, its cell surface receptor CD44, hyaluronan synthases 1-3 and hyaluronidases 1-2.
RESULTS: Hyaluronan content of tumoral cells in deeply invasive melanomas and metastatic lesions was clearly reduced compared to superficial melanomas or benign lesions. Furthermore, hyaluronan content in the stromal cells of benign nevi was higher than in the premalignant or malignant tumors. The immunopositivity of hyaluronidase 2 was significantly increased in the premalignant and malignant lesions indicating its specific role in the degradation of hyaluronan during tumor progression. Similarly, the expression of hyaluronan synthases 1-2 and CD44 receptor was decreased in the metastases compared to the primary melanomas.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the reciprocal relationship between the degrading and synthesizing enzymes account for the alterations in hyaluronan content during the growth of melanoma. These results provide new information about hyaluronan metabolism in benign, premalignant and malignant melanocytic tumors of the skin.

Huuskonen P, Myllynen P, Storvik M, Pasanen M
The effects of aflatoxin B1 on transporters and steroid metabolizing enzymes in JEG-3 cells.
Toxicol Lett. 2013; 218(3):200-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Effects of 96 h aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) exposure at concentrations from 0.2 μM to 6 μM on the mRNA and protein expression levels of the following transporters ABCB1/B4, ABCC1, ABCC2, ABCG2, OAT4 and the mRNA expression of steroid-metabolizing enzymes CYP1A1, CYP19A1, HSD3B1 and HSD17B1, and conjugating enzyme family UGT1A were evaluated in trophoblastic JEG-3 cells. Statistically significant dose-dependent five-fold increases in the expression levels with ABCC2 and OAT4 were recorded at 2 and 6μM AFB1. Protein expression of ABCG2 was decreased dose-dependently with 0.2-6 μM AFB1. With the other transporters, only a trend of increased expression was observed. Analogously, a three-fold increase in the expressions of CYP19A1, HSD3B1, HSD17B1 and UGT1A-family were observed at 0.3 μM AFB1. When an inhibitor of CYP19A1, finrozole, was dosed simultaneously with AFB1, no increases in the transcripts of transporters or steroid hydroxylases or CYP19A1 were observed. This delayed increase in the expression levels - only after 96h incubations - may indicate that the response is due to a secondary metabolite of AFB1 or other secondary controlling cascades rather than the parent compound itself. In conclusion, AFB1 affected the placental steroid synthesizing, metabolizing and conjugating enzymes as well as the expression levels of several transporter proteins in JEG-3 cells. These alterations may lead to anomalies in the foetoplacental hormonal homeostasis.

Rilla K, Oikari S, Jokela TA, et al.
Hyaluronan synthase 1 (HAS1) requires higher cellular UDP-GlcNAc concentration than HAS2 and HAS3.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(8):5973-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mammals have three homologous genes encoding proteins with hyaluronan synthase activity (Has1-3), all producing an identical polymer from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and UDP-glucuronic acid. To compare the properties of these isoenzymes, COS-1 cells, with minor endogenous hyaluronan synthesis, were transfected with human Has1-3 isoenzymes. HAS1 was almost unable to secrete hyaluronan or form a hyaluronan coat, in contrast to HAS2 and HAS3. This failure of HAS1 to synthesize hyaluronan was compensated by increasing the cellular content of UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine by ∼10-fold with 1 mm glucosamine in the growth medium. Hyaluronan synthesis driven by HAS2 was less affected by glucosamine addition, and HAS3 was not affected at all. Glucose-free medium, leading to depletion of the UDP-sugars, markedly reduced hyaluronan synthesis by all HAS isoenzymes while raising its concentration from 5 to 25 mm had a moderate stimulatory effect. The results indicate that HAS1 is almost inactive in cells with low UDP-sugar supply, HAS2 activity increases with UDP-sugars, and HAS3 produces hyaluronan at high speed even with minimum substrate content. Transfected Has2 and particularly Has3 consumed enough UDP-sugars to reduce their content in COS-1 cells. Comparison of different human cell types revealed ∼50-fold differences in the content of UDP-N-acetylhexosamines and UDP-glucuronic acid, correlating with the expression level of Has1, suggesting cellular coordination between Has1 expression and the content of UDP-sugars.

Hartikainen JM, Tengström M, Kosma VM, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms and protein expression of NRF2 and Sulfiredoxin predict survival outcomes in breast cancer.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(21):5537-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
NRF2 activates several protective genes, such as sulfiredoxin (SRXN1), as a response to oxidative and xenobiotic stress. Defects in NRF2 pathway may increase cancer susceptibility. In tumor cells, activation of NRF2 may lead to chemo- and radioresistance and thus affect patient outcome. Nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms on NRF2 gene and eight on SRXN1 were genotyped in 452 patients with breast cancer and 370 controls. Protein expression of NRF2 and SRXN1 was studied in 373 breast carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Statistical significance of the associations between genotypes, protein expression, clinicopathologic variables, and survival was assessed. A high level (>25%) of cytoplasmic NRF2 positivity was observed in 237 of 361 (66%) and SRXN1 positivity was observed in 82 of 363 (23%) cases. The NRF2 rs6721961 genotype TT was associated with increased risk of breast cancer [P = 0.008; OR, 4.656; confidence interval (CI), 1.350-16.063] and the T allele was associated with a low extent of NRF2 protein expression (P = 0.0003; OR, 2.420; CI, 1.491-3.926) and negative SRXN1 expression (P = 0.047; OR, 1.867; CI = 1.002-3.478). The NRF2 rs2886162 allele A was associated with low NRF2 expression (P = 0.011; OR, 1.988; CI, 1.162-3.400) and the AA genotype was associated with a worse survival (P = 0.032; HR, 1.687; CI, 1.047-2.748). The NRF2 rs1962142 T allele was associated with a low level of cytoplasmic NRF2 expression (P = 0.036) and negative sulfiredoxin expression (P = 0.042). The NRF2 rs2706110 AA genotype was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and the SRXN1 rs6053666 C allele was associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk (P = 0.011 and 0.017). NRF2 and SRXN1 genetic polymorphisms are associated with breast cancer risk and survival, implicating that mechanisms associated with reactive oxygen species and NRF2 pathway are involved in breast cancer initiation and progression.

Raunio H, Rahnasto-Rilla M
CYP2A6: genetics, structure, regulation, and function.
Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2012; 27(2):73-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human CYP2A gene subfamily consists of three members, CYP2A6, CYP2A7, and CYP2A13. The CYP2A6 gene is highly polymorphic with approximately 40 annotated allelic variants. Individuals homozygous for some of these alleles have a total lack of CYP2A6 activity. The CYP2A6 protein is most abundant in liver and is expressed, although at much lower levels, in some other tissues, especially nasal mucosa. CYP2A6 differs from other human liver CYP forms in that it participates in the metabolism of very few currently used drugs. The two most relevant substrates for CYP2A6 are coumarin and nicotine. Coumarin is the marker substance for determining CYP2A6 activity both in vitro and in vivo. Approximately 80% of a nicotine dose is eliminated by CYP2A6, and there is a clear link between CYP2A6 genotypes, smoking behavior, and lung cancer risk.

Soini Y
Tight junctions in lung cancer and lung metastasis: a review.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2012; 5(2):126-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tight junctions are structures located in the apicobasal region of the cell membranes. They regulate paracellular solute and electrical permeability of cell layers. Additionally, they influence cellular polarity, form a paracellular fence to molecules and pathogens and divide the cell membranes to apical and lateral compartments. Tight junctions adhere to the corresponding ones of neighbouring cells and by this way also mediate attachment of the cells to one other. Molecules forming the membranous part of tight junctions include occludin, claudins, tricellulin and junctional adhesion molecules. These molecules are attached to scaffolding proteins such as ZO-1, ZO-2 and ZO-3 through which signals are mediated to the cell interior. Expression of tight junction proteins, such as claudins, may be up- or downregulated in cancer and they are involved in EMT thus influencing tumor spread. Like in tumors of other sites, lung tumors show changes in the expression in tight junction proteins. In this review the significance of tight junctions and its proteins in lung cancer is discussed with a focus on the proteins forming the membranous part of these structures.

Jennes I, Zuntini M, Mees K, et al.
Identification and functional characterization of the human EXT1 promoter region.
Gene. 2012; 492(1):148-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mutations in Exostosin-1 (EXT1) or Exostosin-2 (EXT2) cause the autosomal dominant disorder multiple osteochondromas (MO). This disease is mainly characterized by the appearance of multiple cartilage-capped protuberances arising from children's metaphyses and is known to display clinical inter- and intrafamilial variations. EXT1 and EXT2 are both tumor suppressor genes encoding proteins that function as glycosyltransferases, catalyzing the biosynthesis of heparan sulfate. At present, however, very little is known about the regulation of these genes. Two of the most intriguing questions concerning the pathogenesis of MO are how disruption of a ubiquitously expressed gene causes this cartilage-specific disease and how the clinical intrafamilial variation can be explained. Since mutations in the EXT1 gene are responsible for ~65% of the MO families with known causal mutation, our aim was to isolate and characterize the EXT1 promoter region to elucidate the transcriptional regulation of this tumor suppressor gene.
METHODS: In the present study, luciferase reporter gene assays were used to experimentally confirm the in silico predicted EXT1 core promoter region. Subsequently, we evaluated the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's) on EXT1 promoter activity and transcription factor binding using luciferase assays, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Finally, a genotype-phenotype study was performed with the aim to identify one or more genetic modifiers influencing the clinical expression of MO.
RESULTS: Transient transfection of HEK293 cells with a series of luciferase reporter constructs mapped the EXT1 core promoter at approximately -917 bp upstream of the EXT1 start codon, within a 123 bp region. This region is conserved in mammals and located within a CpG-island containing a CAAT- and a GT-box. A polymorphic G/C-SNP at -1158 bp (rs34016643) was demonstrated to be located in a USF1 transcription factor binding site, which is lost with the presence of the C-allele resulting in a ~56% increase in EXT1 promoter activity. A genotype-phenotype study was suggestive for association of the C-allele with shorter stature, but also with a smaller number of osteochondromas.
CONCLUSIONS: We provide for the first time insight into the molecular regulation of EXT1. Although a larger patient population will be necessary for statistical significance, our data suggest the polymorphism rs34016643, in close proximity of the EXT1 promoter, to be a potential regulatory SNP, which could be a primary modifier that might explain part of the clinical variation observed in MO patients.

Pietilä M, Lampinen A, Pellinen R, Alhonen L
Inducible expression of antizyme 1 in prostate cancer cell lines after lentivirus mediated gene transfer.
Amino Acids. 2012; 42(2-3):559-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prostate has the highest level of polyamines among all tissues, and it is the only tissue in which polyamines are purposely synthesized for export. It has been suggested that the high local polyamine concentrations suppress cell growth of primary prostatic carcinomas and that this growth control is lost when cancer cells metastasize. It has also been shown that the sensitivity to polyamine-induced growth arrest correlates with antizyme induction in prostate carcinoma cell lines. In this study, we evaluated the sensitivity of poorly metastatic (LNCaP) and highly metastatic (DU145) prostate cancer cell lines to conditional antizyme 1 over-expression. Antizyme 1 induction resulted in a marked loss of ODC activity and polyamine uptake in both cell lines. However, the proliferation of LNCaP cells was repressed by antizyme 1 induction, whereas the proliferation of DU 145 cells was not affected. Neither cell line showed any reduction in polyamine pools after manipulation nor did polyamine addition into the medium save the LNCaP cells from the growth retardation. The growth inhibition of LNCaP cells was accompanied by accumulation of cells in the G1 phase and depletion of cyclin E1 protein. These results confirm that different prostate cancer cell lines show diverse sensitivities to antizyme 1 which may not be directly polyamine related. The high gene transfer capacity of the used lentiviral vector makes the present approach a useful tool to study the therapeutic potential of antizyme 1 both in cell cultures and experimental animals.

Kauppinen JM, Kosma VM, Soini Y, et al.
ST14 gene variant and decreased matriptase protein expression predict poor breast cancer survival.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010; 19(9):2133-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Matriptase plays a role in carcinogenesis, but the role of its genetic variation or that of the hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 (HAI-1) has not been evaluated. This study aimed to examine the genetic variation of matriptase (ST14 gene) and HAI-1 (SPINT1 gene) in breast cancer risk and prognosis, to assess matriptase and HAI-1 gene and protein expression in breast tumors, and to identify their clinicopathologic correlations and prognostic significance.
METHODS: Five single nucleotide polymorphisms in ST14 and three in SPINT1 were genotyped in 470 invasive breast cancer cases and 446 healthy controls. Gene expression analysis was done for 40 breast cancer samples. Protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemical analyses in 377 invasive breast tumors. The statistical significance of the associations among genotypes, clinicopathologic variables, and prognosis was assessed.
RESULTS: The ST14 single nucleotide polymorphism rs704624 independently predicted breast cancer survival, a poor outcome associated with the minor allele (P = 0.001; risk ratio, 2.221; 95% confidence interval, 1.382-3.568). Moreover, ST14 gene expression levels were lower among the minor allele carriers (P = 0.009), and negative/low matriptase protein expression was independently predictive of poorer survival (P = 0.046; risk ratio, 1.554; 95% confidence interval, 1.008-2.396).
CONCLUSIONS: The ST14 variant rs704624 and protein expression of matriptase have prognostic significance in breast cancer. This study adds to the evidence for the role of matriptase in breast cancer and has found new evidence for the genotypes having an impact in breast cancer.
IMPACT: This is the first study showing that genetic variation in matriptase has clinical importance. The results encourage further study on the genetic variation affecting protein levels and function in type II transmembrane serine proteases.

de Bock CE, Garg MB, Scott N, et al.
Association of thymidylate synthase enhancer region polymorphisms with thymidylate synthase activity in vivo.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2011; 11(4):307-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Two known polymorphisms in the 5' enhancer region (ER) of the thymidylate synthase (TS) gene, a variable number of tandem repeats of a 28 bp sequence (2R/3R) and a further G>C single nucleotide substitution within the repeats, result in genotypes with 0-5 functional upstream stimulatory factor (USF) E-box consensus elements. However, the relationship between these polymorphisms, regulation of TS expression and patient response to fluoropyrimidine treatment has been inconsistent. In this study, seven possible TSER allele configurations showed similar patterns of luciferase gene expression regardless of cell type or USF-1 content, with no significant difference in promoter activity between the wild-type 2RGC and 3RGGC (1.40±0.37 vs 1.43±0.32, P=0.90), whereas the minor alleles, 2RCC and 3RGCC, were significantly reduced (0.84±0.17, P=0.01) and increased (3.19±0.72, P=0.001) respectively. Patient plasma levels of 2'-deoxyuridine, a surrogate marker of TS activity, were significantly different between genotypes (P<0.001) and inversely related to luciferase activity (P=0.02) but not to the absolute number of functional repeated elements (P=0.16), suggesting that the position, rather than the number of functional USF E-box repeats in the TSER, is responsible for determining gene expression in vitro and TS activity in vivo.

Küblbeck J, Reinisalo M, Mustonen R, Honkakoski P
Up-regulation of CYP expression in hepatoma cells stably transfected by chimeric nuclear receptors.
Eur J Pharm Sci. 2010; 40(4):263-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Most hepatoma cell lines lack proper expression and induction of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and this deficiency hampers their use as in vitro models for drug and xenobiotic metabolism. According to previous studies, the poor expression of CYP enzymes may be due to decreases in CYP gene transcription. Two nuclear receptors (NRs), the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), are known to regulate many genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and disposition. Here, we studied the expression of different CYP, NR and NR co-regulator genes in hepatoma cell lines. Next, we created "chimeric NR" constructs by cloning the strong activation domain from the p65 subunit of transcription factor NF-kappaB and appending it to either N- or C-termini of the human CAR or PXR. We established that these chimeric NRs displayed enhanced trans-activation potential as compared to the unmodified NRs, and showed that transient transfection of a single chimeric NR increased the expression of several CYPs simultaneously. Finally, stable cell lines expressing a chimeric NR had elevated levels of CYP3A4, CYP2B6 and CYP2C9 mRNAs and CYP3A4-mediated metabolism when compared to the wild-type hepatoma cells. These findings establish a proof of principle how improved metabolic cell models could be designed.

Bélanger AS, Tojcic J, Harvey M, Guillemette C
Regulation of UGT1A1 and HNF1 transcription factor gene expression by DNA methylation in colon cancer cells.
BMC Mol Biol. 2010; 11:9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) is a pivotal enzyme involved in metabolism of SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan commonly used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. We previously demonstrated aberrant methylation of specific CpG dinucleotides in UGT1A1-negative cells, and revealed that methylation state of the UGT1A1 5'-flanking sequence is negatively correlated with gene transcription. Interestingly, one of these CpG dinucleotides (CpG -4) is found close to a HNF1 response element (HRE), known to be involved in activation of UGT1A1 gene expression, and within an upstream stimulating factor (USF) binding site.
RESULTS: Gel retardation assays revealed that methylation of CpG-4 directly affect the interaction of USF1/2 with its cognate sequence without altering the binding for HNF1-alpha. Luciferase assays sustained a role for USF1/2 and HNF1-alpha in UGT1A1 regulation in colon cancer cells. Based on the differential expression profiles of HNF1A gene in colon cell lines, we also assessed whether methylation affects its expression. In agreement with the presence of CpG islands in the HNF1A promoter, treatments of UGT1A1-negative HCT116 colon cancer cells with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor restore HNF1A gene expression, as observed for UGT1A1.
CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that basal UGT1A1 expression in colon cells is positively regulated by HNF1-alpha and USF, and negatively regulated by DNA methylation. Besides, DNA methylation of HNF1A could also play an important role in regulating additional cellular drug metabolism and transporter pathways. This process may contribute to determine local inactivation of drugs such as the anticancer agent SN-38 by glucuronidation and define tumoral response.

Landa I, Ruiz-Llorente S, Montero-Conde C, et al.
The variant rs1867277 in FOXE1 gene confers thyroid cancer susceptibility through the recruitment of USF1/USF2 transcription factors.
PLoS Genet. 2009; 5(9):e1000637 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to identify genetic factors related to thyroid cancer susceptibility, we adopted a candidate gene approach. We studied tag- and putative functional SNPs in genes involved in thyroid cell differentiation and proliferation, and in genes found to be differentially expressed in thyroid carcinoma. A total of 768 SNPs in 97 genes were genotyped in a Spanish series of 615 cases and 525 controls, the former comprising the largest collection of patients with this pathology from a single population studied to date. SNPs in an LD block spanning the entire FOXE1 gene showed the strongest evidence of association with papillary thyroid carcinoma susceptibility. This association was validated in a second stage of the study that included an independent Italian series of 482 patients and 532 controls. The strongest association results were observed for rs1867277 (OR[per-allele] = 1.49; 95%CI = 1.30-1.70; P = 5.9x10(-9)). Functional assays of rs1867277 (NM_004473.3:c.-283G>A) within the FOXE1 5' UTR suggested that this variant affects FOXE1 transcription. DNA-binding assays demonstrated that, exclusively, the sequence containing the A allele recruited the USF1/USF2 transcription factors, while both alleles formed a complex in which DREAM/CREB/alphaCREM participated. Transfection studies showed an allele-dependent transcriptional regulation of FOXE1. We propose a FOXE1 regulation model dependent on the rs1867277 genotype, indicating that this SNP is a causal variant in thyroid cancer susceptibility. Our results constitute the first functional explanation for an association identified by a GWAS and thereby elucidate a mechanism of thyroid cancer susceptibility. They also attest to the efficacy of candidate gene approaches in the GWAS era.

van Deursen D, van Leeuwen M, Vaulont S, et al.
Upstream Stimulatory Factors 1 and 2 activate the human hepatic lipase promoter via E-box dependent and independent mechanisms.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009; 1791(4):229-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
We studied the transcriptional regulation of the HL gene by USF1 and USF2 in HepG2 cells. The transcriptional activity of the HL(-685/+13) promoter construct was increased up to 25-fold by co-transfection with USF1 and USF2. Silencing of USF1 by RNA interference reduced promoter activity by 30-40%. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed binding of endogenous USF1 and USF2 to the proximal HL promoter region. In gel shift assays, USF1 and USF2 bound to E-boxes at -307/-312 and -510/-516, and to the TATA-Inr region. Although the -514C-->T substitution abolished in vitro USF binding to the -510/-516 E-box, the increase in HL promoter activity by USF1 and USF2 was unaffected. Deletion and mutation analysis of the HL promoter region, and insertion of multiple E-box copies in front of a heterologous promoter, revealed that upregulation by USFs was mainly mediated through the -307/-312 E-box and the TATA-Inr region. We conclude that in HepG2 cells USF1 and USF2 regulate transcriptional activity of the HL gene through their binding to the E-box at -307/-312 and the TATA-Inr region.

Corre S, Primot A, Baron Y, et al.
Target gene specificity of USF-1 is directed via p38-mediated phosphorylation-dependent acetylation.
J Biol Chem. 2009; 284(28):18851-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
How transcription factors interpret the output from signal transduction pathways to drive distinct programs of gene expression is a key issue that underpins development and disease. The ubiquitously expressed basic-helix-loop-helix leucine zipper upstream stimulating factor-1 binds E-box regulatory elements (CANNTG) to regulate a wide number of gene networks. In particular, USF-1 is a key component of the tanning process. Following UV irradiation, USF-1 is phosphorylated by the p38 stress-activated kinase on threonine 153 and directly up-regulates expression of the POMC, MC1R, TYR, TYRP-1 and DCT genes. However, how phosphorylation on Thr-153 might affect the activity of USF-1 is unclear. Here we show that, in response to DNA damage, oxidative stress and cellular infection USF-1 is acetylated in a phospho-Thr-153-dependent fashion. Phospho-acetylated USF-1 is nuclear and interacts with DNA but displays altered gene regulatory properties. Phospho-acetylated USF-1 is thus proposed to be associated with loss of transcriptional activation properties toward several target genes implicated in pigmentation process and cell cycle regulation. The identification of this critical stress-dependent USF-1 modification gives new insights into understanding USF-1 gene expression modulation associated with cancer development.

van Deursen D, Jansen H, Verhoeven AJ
Glucose increases hepatic lipase expression in HepG2 liver cells through upregulation of upstream stimulatory factors 1 and 2.
Diabetologia. 2008; 51(11):2078-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Elevated hepatic lipase (HL, also known as LIPC) expression is a key factor in the development of the atherogenic lipid profile in type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Recently, genetic screens revealed a possible association of type 2 diabetes and familial combined hyperlipidaemia with the USF1 gene. Therefore, we investigated the role of upstream stimulatory factors (USFs) in the regulation of HL.
METHODS: Levels of USF1, USF2 and HL were measured in HepG2 cells cultured in normal- or high-glucose medium (4.5 and 22.5 mmol/l, respectively) and in livers of streptozotocin-treated rats.
RESULTS: Nuclear extracts of cells cultured in high glucose contained 2.5 +/- 0.5-fold more USF1 and 1.4 +/- 0.2-fold more USF2 protein than cells cultured in normal glucose (mean +/- SD, n = 3). This coincided with higher DNA binding of nuclear proteins to the USF consensus DNA binding site. Secretion of HL (2.9 +/- 0.5-fold), abundance of HL mRNA (1.5 +/- 0.2-fold) and HL (-685/+13) promoter activity (1.8 +/- 0.3-fold) increased in parallel. In chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, the proximal HL promoter region was immunoprecipitated with anti-USF1 and anti-USF2 antibodies. Co-transfection with USF1 or USF2 cDNA stimulated HL promoter activity 6- to 16-fold. USF and glucose responsiveness were significantly reduced by removal of the -310E-box from the HL promoter. Silencing of the USF1 gene by RNA interference reduced glucose responsiveness of the HL (-685/+13) promoter region by 50%. The hyperglycaemia in streptozotocin-treated rats was associated with similar increases in USF abundance in rat liver nuclei, but not with increased binding of USF to the rat Hl promoter region.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Glucose increases HL expression in HepG2 cells via elevation of USF1 and USF2. This mechanism may contribute to the development of the dyslipidaemia that is typical of type 2 diabetes.

Ansorge N, Jüttner S, Cramer T, et al.
An upstream CRE-E-box element is essential for gastrin-dependent activation of the cyclooxygenase-2 gene in human colon cancer cells.
Regul Pept. 2007; 144(1-3):25-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cyclooxygenase-2, the inducible enzyme of arachidonic acid metabolism and prostaglandin synthesis, is over expressed in colorectal cancer. Inhibition of COX-1/-2 by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is associated with a decreased risk for these malignancies, whereas high serum gastrin levels elevate this risk. As gastrin exhibits trophical effects on colonic epithelium we sought to explore whether it is capable to induce COX-2 expression in a human colon cancer cell line. The aim of this study is the description of the gastrin evoked effects on the transcriptional activity of the COX-2 gene in colorectal cancer cells and the identification of regulatory promoter elements. Reporter gene assays were performed with the gastrin-stimulated human colorectal cancer cell-line Colo-320, which was stable transfected with the human cholecystokinin-B/gastrin receptor cDNA and COX-2-promoter-luciferase constructs containing different segments of the 5'-region of the COX-2 gene or with mutated promoter constructs. Transcription factors were characterized with electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Gastrin-dependent induction of COX-2 mRNA was shown using "real-time" PCR. Resulting elevated Prostaglandin E2-levels were measured using ELISA. Gastrin stimulated the PGE2-generation and COX-2-mRNA expression in human Colo-320-B cells potently, obviously by transactivating the COX-2-promoter using a region between - 68 bp and + 70 bp. Further examinations identified a CRE-E-box element between - 56 bp and - 48 bp mediating the gastrin-effects on the COX-2 gene. Transcription factors binding to this promoter element were USF-1 und -2. These results show the necessity to perform succeeding studies, which could describe possible mechanisms in which gastrin and COX-2 contribute to the induction of colorectal carcinomas.

Pezzolesi MG, Zbuk KM, Waite KA, Eng C
Comparative genomic and functional analyses reveal a novel cis-acting PTEN regulatory element as a highly conserved functional E-box motif deleted in Cowden syndrome.
Hum Mol Genet. 2007; 16(9):1058-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germline mutations in PTEN, encoding a phosphatase on 10q23, cause Cowden syndrome (CS) and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRRS). Approximately, 10% of CS-related PTEN mutations occur in the PTEN promoter and 11% of BRRS-related mutations include large deletions, often favoring the gene's 5' end (exon 1, promoter). In order to better understand the mechanism(s) underlying the deregulation of PTEN in these syndromes, it is important that functional cis-regulatory elements be identified. We employed a comparative genomic approach combined with molecular genetic techniques to identify a highly conserved sequence upstream of the PTEN promoter, sharing 80% sequence identity among Homo sapiens, Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus. Within this region, we identified a canonical E-box sequence (CACGTG) located at position -2181 to -2176, approximately 800 bp upstream of the PTEN core promoter and more than 1.1 kb upstream of its minimal promoter region (located at -958 to -821). In vitro assays suggest that this motif is recognized by members of the basic region-helix-loop-helix-leucine-zipper (bHLH-LZ) transcription factor family, USF1 and USF2, and reporter assays indicate that this novel E-box is involved in mediating PTEN transcriptional activation. Four of 30 CS/CS-like patients, without previously identified PTEN mutations, were found with germline deletions of the E-box element. Of the four, three had deletions stretching to exon 1, but not 3' of it; importantly, one classic CS patient harbored a germline deletion localizing to this E-box region, further affirming the role of this element in PTEN's regulation and deregulation, and its contribution to the pathogenesis of CS.

Boelaert K, Smith VE, Stratford AL, et al.
PTTG and PBF repress the human sodium iodide symporter.
Oncogene. 2007; 26(30):4344-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ability of the thyroid to accumulate iodide provides the basis for radioiodine ablation of differentiated thyroid cancers and their metastases. Most thyroid tumours exhibit reduced iodide uptake, although the mechanisms accounting for this remain poorly understood. Pituitary tumour transforming gene (PTTG) is a proto-oncogene implicated in the pathogenesis of thyroid tumours. We now show that PTTG and its binding factor PBF repress expression of sodium iodide symporter (NIS) messenger RNA (mRNA), and inhibit iodide uptake. This process is mediated at least in part through fibroblast growth factor-2. In detailed studies of the NIS promoter in rat FRTL-5 cells, PTTG and PBF demonstrated specific inhibition of promoter activity via the human upstream enhancer element (hNUE). Within this approximately 1 kb element, a complex PAX8-upstream stimulating factor 1 (USF1) response element proved critical both to basal promoter activity and to PTTG and PBF repression of NIS. In particular, repression by PTTG was contingent upon the USF1, but not the PAX8, site. Finally, in human primary thyroid cells, PTTG and PBF similarly repressed the NIS promoter via hNUE. Taken together, our data suggest that the reported overexpression of PTTG and PBF in differentiated thyroid cancer has profound implications for activity of the NIS gene, and hence significantly impacts upon the efficacy of radioiodine treatment.

Yang M, Peng H, Hay J, Ruyechan WT
Promoter activation by the varicella-zoster virus major transactivator IE62 and the cellular transcription factor USF.
J Virol. 2006; 80(15):7339-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The varicella-zoster virus major transactivator, IE62, can activate expression from homologous and heterologous promoters. High levels of IE62-mediated activation appear to involve synergy with cellular transcription factors. The work presented here focuses on functional interactions of IE62 with the ubiquitously expressed cellular factor USF. We have found that USF can synergize with IE62 to a similar extent on model minimal promoters and the complex native ORF28/29 regulatory element, neither of which contains a consensus IE62 binding site. Using Gal4 fusion constructs, we have found that the activation domain of USF1 is necessary and sufficient for synergistic activation with IE62. We have mapped the regions of USF and IE62 required for direct physical interaction. Deletion of the required region within IE62 does not ablate synergistic activation but does influence its efficiency depending on promoter architecture. Both proteins stabilize/increase binding of TATA binding protein/TFIID to promoter elements. These findings suggest a novel mechanism for the observed synergistic activation which requires neither site-specific IE62 binding to the promoter nor a direct physical interaction with USF.

Liu M, Ge Y, Payton SG, et al.
Transcriptional regulation of the human reduced folate carrier in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Clin Cancer Res. 2006; 12(2):608-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The transcriptional regulation of the human reduced folate carrier (hRFC), involved in cellular uptake of methotrexate and reduced folates, was studied in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The hRFC gene is regulated by six noncoding exons (A1/A2 and A to E) and multiple promoters. In ALL, hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B are the major transcript forms.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: RNAs from 18 ALL lymphoblast specimens and 10 nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient ALL xenografts were assayed by real-time reverse transcription-PCR for hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B transcripts and for transcripts encoding USF1, GATA1, Sp1, and Ikaros transcription factors. For the xenografts, gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays assessed transcription factor binding to the hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoters. CpG methylation density within a 334-bp region, including the core hRFC-B promoter, was established by bisulfite sequencing. hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoter polymorphisms were assayed by DNA sequencing.
RESULTS: For the 28 ALLs, hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B transcripts spanned a 546-fold range. By chromatin immunoprecipitation and gel shift assays, binding was confirmed for USF1 and GATA1 for hRFC-A1/A2, and for Sp1, USF1, and Ikaros for hRFC-B. hRFC transcript levels correlated with those for GATA1 and USF1 for hRFC-A1/A2 and with Sp1 and USF1 transcripts for hRFC-B. CpG methylation in ALL did not correlate with hRFC-B transcripts. In 40 ALL and 17 non-ALL specimens, 2 cosegregating high-frequency polymorphisms (T-1309/C-1217 and C-1309/T-1217; allelic frequencies of 36% and 64%, respectively) were detected in the A1/A2 promoter; none were detected in promoter B. The hRFC-A1/A2 polymorphisms only slightly affected promoter activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show a complex regulation of hRFC in ALL involving the hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoters and noncoding exons. Although Sp1, USF1, and GATA1 levels are critical determinants of hRFC transcription in ALL, neither DNA methylation nor promoter polymorphisms contribute to differences in hRFC expression.

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