The Journal of biological chemistry

Multiple cis-elements mediate the transcriptional activation of human fra-1 by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in bronchial epithelial cells.

PMID 13679379


Recent studies indicate a potential role for Fra-1, a heterodimeric partner of activator protein 1 (AP1), in toxicant-induced epithelial injury, repair, and cellular transformation. Here, we have investigated the transcriptional regulation of fra-1 by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells, which are the direct targets of inhaled toxins/carcinogens. In contrast to a transient induction by H2O2, TPA persistently activated fra-1 transcription, principally at the transcriptional level. A deletion analysis of the fra-1 promoter revealed that several cis-elements located between -105/+32 and -283/-105 bp mediate minimal and basal promoter activities, respectively. A region between -379 and -283 bp, which harbors a putative TPA response element, a GC box, and an Ets-like binding site, was required for high level TPA-inducible expression. Mutations in any of these cis-elements markedly reduced both basal and TPA-inducible expression. Thus, cooperative interactions between factors binding to multiple cis-elements of the -379/-283 promoter region appear to regulate TPA-induced fra-1 transcription in HBE cells. Consistent with this finding, electrophoretic mobility shift assays indicated the formation of multiple complexes consisting of the AP1-, Sp-, and ETS-specific family of transcription factors with the -379/-283 fragment. Members of the AP1 family distinctly regulated the fra-1 promoter. In particular, coexpression of c-Jun, Jun-D, and Fra-2 up-regulated fra-1 transcription. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed an enhanced recruitment of c-Jun, Jun-D, and Fra-2 to the endogenous fra-1 promoter upon TPA stimulation. These results underscore the regulatory role of c-Jun, Jun-D, and Fra-2 in TPA-inducible fra-1 expression in HBE cells in vivo.

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