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Phosphorylation of liver X receptor alpha selectively regulates target gene expression in macrophages.

Molecular and cellular biology (2008-02-06)
Inés Pineda Torra, Naima Ismaili, Jonathan E Feig, Chong-Feng Xu, Claudio Cavasotto, Raluca Pancratov, Inez Rogatsky, Thomas A Neubert, Edward A Fisher, Michael J Garabedian
ABSTRACT

Dysregulation of liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha) activity has been linked to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Here, we show that LXRalpha target gene selectivity is achieved by modulation of LXRalpha phosphorylation. Under basal conditions, LXRalpha is phosphorylated at S198; phosphorylation is enhanced by LXR ligands and reduced both by casein kinase 2 (CK2) inhibitors and by activation of its heterodimeric partner RXR with 9-cis-retinoic acid (9cRA). Expression of some (AIM and LPL), but not other (ABCA1 or SREBPc1) established LXR target genes is increased in RAW 264.7 cells expressing the LXRalpha S198A phosphorylation-deficient mutant compared to those with WT receptors. Surprisingly, a gene normally not expressed in macrophages, the chemokine CCL24, is activated specifically in cells expressing LXRalpha S198A. Furthermore, inhibition of S198 phosphorylation by 9cRA or by a CK2 inhibitor similarly promotes CCL24 expression, thereby phenocopying the S198A mutation. Thus, our findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for phosphorylation in restricting the repertoire of LXRalpha-responsive genes.

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