The Journal of biological chemistry

High Affinity Heme Binding to a Heme Regulatory Motif on the Nuclear Receptor Rev-erbβ Leads to Its Degradation and Indirectly Regulates Its Interaction with Nuclear Receptor Corepressor.

PMID 26670607


Rev-erbα and Rev-erbβ are heme-binding nuclear receptors (NR) that repress the transcription of genes involved in regulating metabolism, inflammation, and the circadian clock. Previous gene expression and co-immunoprecipitation studies led to a model in which heme binding to Rev-erbα recruits nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCoR1) into an active repressor complex. However, in contradiction, biochemical and crystallographic studies have shown that heme decreases the affinity of the ligand-binding domain of Rev-erb NRs for NCoR1 peptides. One explanation for this discrepancy is that the ligand-binding domain and NCoR1 peptides used for in vitro studies cannot replicate the key features of the full-length proteins used in cellular studies. However, the combined in vitro and cellular results described here demonstrate that heme does not directly promote interactions between full-length Rev-erbβ (FLRev-erbβ) and an NCoR1 construct encompassing all three NR interaction domains. NCoR1 tightly binds both apo- and heme-replete FLRev-erbβ·DNA complexes; furthermore, heme, at high concentrations, destabilizes the FLRev-erbβ·NCoR1 complex. The interaction between FLRev-erbβ and NCoR1 as well as Rev-erbβ repression at the Bmal1 promoter appear to be modulated by another cellular factor(s), at least one of which is related to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Our studies suggest that heme is involved in regulating the degradation of Rev-erbβ in a manner consistent with its role in circadian rhythm maintenance. Finally, the very slow rate constant (10(-6) s(-1)) of heme dissociation from Rev-erbβ rules out a prior proposal that Rev-erbβ acts as an intracellular heme sensor.