Correct usage of multiple transcription initiation sites and C/EBP-dependent transcription activation of the rat XDH/XO TATA-less promoter requires downstream elements located in the coding region of the gene

Clark, M.P.; Chow, C.W.; Rinaldo, J.E.; Chalkley, R.

Nucleic Acids Research 26(7): 1801-1806


ISSN/ISBN: 0305-1048
PMID: 9512555
DOI: 10.1093/nar/26.7.1801
Accession: 008391291

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In the present study, we have shown that a downstream element located in the coding region of the TATA-less rat xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase (XDH/XO) gene (-7 to +42) plays an important role in transcription initiation and C/EBP transcriptional activation. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that the promoter is organized with multiple initiator elements (Inr 1, 2, 3 and 4) which are important for transcription initiation. Additionally, we had identified two C/EBP binding sites upstream of this promoter. Deletional and mutational studies revealed that C/EBP binding was not essential for the basal level of transcriptional initiation. However when XO-luciferase constructs include downstream sequence extending to +42 there is development of C/EBP sensitivity as well as a shift in the initiator usage. In the absence of the downstream element, primer extension analyses reveals Inr 3 and 4 to be the major start sites but in the presence of this additional sequence the usage is shifted to Inr 1 and 2. This shift in Inr usage more closely resembles that seen in intact macrophages or liver cells. Gel mobility shift assays indicate the presence of several binding factors located in this downstream region, one of which has been identified as YY-1. We postulate that YY-1 allows DNA bending which permits the upstream C/EBP elements to exhibit a transcriptional activation which is not seen when the downstream element is absent. This study presents a potential model for regulation of the XDH/XO promoter.