The Journal of biological chemistry

The small GTPases Ras, Rac, and Cdc42 transcriptionally regulate expression of human fibroblast growth factor 1.

PMID 10849427


Four distinct promoters (1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D) of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), spaced up to 70 kilobase pairs apart, direct the expression of alternatively spliced transcript variants (FGF1.A, -1. B, -1.C, and -1.D) that encode FGF1. These FGF1 transcripts can be detected in cultured cells as well as in normal and diseased tissues. These transcripts are differentially regulated in a cell-specific manner. To further delineate the biological function of multiple promoter usage by a single gene, we investigated the transcriptional regulation of these promoters by defined signaling pathways associated with cell proliferation and cell survival. Here we show a specific association of two of the FGF1 promoters, 1C and 1D, with signaling cascades of the Ras superfamily of GTPases. A serum-response element, comprised of the Ets and CArG motifs, present in promoter 1D was shown to be the target of distinct signaling cascades; the Ets motif target of Ras, Rac1, and Cdc42 regulation; and the CArG motif target of de novo protein synthesis-independent cascade. Ras and Rac1 also activated the FGF2 promoter. Further, the transcription factor Ets2 synergistically activated FGF1 gene, but not FGF2, in a Ras- and Rac1-dependent signaling pathway. In support of these conclusions high levels of intracellular FGF1 were detected in cells undergoing cytokinesis. Altogether, our results suggest that FGF1 may play a fundamental role in cell division, spreading, and migration, in addition to cell proliferation.