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The alpha-isoform of the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein is required for mediating cAMP responsiveness of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase promoter in hepatoma cells


The alpha-isoform of the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein is required for mediating cAMP responsiveness of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase promoter in hepatoma cells



Journal of Biological Chemistry 271(14): 8068-8074



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258

PMID: 8626491

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.271.14.8068

The gene coding for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (GTP) (EC 4.1.1.32) is expressed in all gluconeogenic tissues, but stimulation of its rate of transcription by cAMP is robust only in liver. Evidence has accumulated which suggests that a liver-enriched transcription factor, likely a member of the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) family, is required along with other ubiquitously expressed transcription factors to mediate this liver-specific response to cAMP. In this study, we examined the ability of C/EBP to participate in the cAMP-mediated activation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene transcription in hepatoma cells. Expression of a dominant repressor of C/EBP in hepatoma cells significantly inhibited the protein kinase A-stimulated transcription of the PEPCK promoter, suggesting that a C/EBP family member was required for maximal transcriptional activation by protein kinase A. To provide additional support for this hypothesis, we prepared GAL4 fusion proteins containing C/EBP domains. Both C/EBP-alpha and C/EBP-beta GAL4 fusion proteins were capable of stimulating transcription from promoters containing binding sites for the DNA-binding domain of GAL4. However, only the GAL4-C/EBP-alpha fusion protein demonstrated the ability to synergize with the other transcription factors bound to the PEPCK promoter which are required to mediate cAMP responsiveness. The DNA-binding domain of C/EBP-alpha was not required for this activity in hepatoma cells, although in non-hepatoma cells the basic region leucine zipper domain appeared to inhibit the ability of C/EBP-alpha to participate in mediating cAMP responsiveness. These results suggest that the liver-specific nature of the cAMP responsiveness of the PEPCK promoter involves the recruitment of C/EBP-alpha to the cAMP response unit.

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Accession: 009541099

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Related references

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