The Journal of biological chemistry

CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins are mediators in the protein kinase A-dependent activation of the decidual prolactin promoter.

PMID 10455153


In the course of decidualization, human endometrial stromal cells (ESC) activate the alternative upstream promoter of the decidual prolactin (dPRL) gene. The dPRL promoter is induced by the protein kinase A pathway in a delayed fashion via the region -332/-270 which contains two overlapping consensus binding sequences, B and D, for CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBP). Here we show that sites B and D both bind C/EBPbeta and -delta from ESC nuclear extracts. When decidualization of cultured ESC was induced by treatment with 8-Br-cAMP, complex formation on sites B and D was enhanced. Western blot analysis revealed an elevation of both C/EBPbeta isoforms, liver-enriched activator protein and liver-enriched inhibitory protein, with a delayed onset between 8 and 24 h of cAMP treatment, while C/EBPdelta expression remained unaffected. Cyclic AMP-mediated activation of dPRL promoter construct dPRL-332/luc3 was abrogated by mutation of sites B and D at -310/-285. An expression vector for liver-enriched activator protein potently induced transcription of dPRL-332/luc3 and further enhanced cAMP-mediated induction, while liver-enriched inhibitory protein expression vector abolished the cAMP response, implying that C/EBPs serve as mediators in the delayed cAMP signal transduction to the dPRL promoter. The ratio between activating and repressing isoforms is likely to dictate the transcriptional output.