A 5€²-Flanking Region Of The Bovine Tyrosine Hydroxylase Gene Is Involved In Cell-Specific Expression Activation Of Gene Transcription By Phorbol Ester And Transactivation By C-Fos And C-Jun



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Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is expressed specifically in catecholaminergic cells and is transcriptionally activated via a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent pathway. To identify regulatory regions of the TH gene, transfected neural crest-derived catecholaminergic cells [human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y and bovine adrenal medullary (BAM) cells] or glia-derived SF-763 cells were used to analyze expression of a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene under the control of 5′-flanking sequences of the bovine TH gene. Plasmid pTH(-245/+21)CAT was constructed by fusing the -245 to +21 region of the TH gene to CAT sequences in the promoterless pCAT basic plasmid. Cells transfected with pTH(-245/+21)CAT expressed CAT activity at levels 8- to 100-fold higher than those of cells transfected with pCAT basic. In SH-SY5Y or BAM cells, pTH(-245/+21)CAT supported the expression of CAT at levels similar to or higher than that supported by the tissue nonspecific viral SV40 promoter/enhancer. In glia-like cells, CAT expression from pTH(-245/+2 1)CAT was about 13-fold lower than that under the control of the SV40 promoter. Incubation of neuroblastoma cells with the active phorbol ester, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), increased expression of CAT from pTH(-245/+2 1)CAT over 6-fold and was accompanied by induction of c-fos and c-jun mRNAs and proteins. The regulation of TH promoter function by c-Fos/c-Jun was corroborated by transactivation of the TH promoter in SH-SY5Y cells engineered to overexpress exogenous c-Fos and c-Jun. TH gene sequences essential for c-Fos/c-Jun transactivation were located in the -245 to -52 region, upstream from a CRE-like element. Gel mobility assays demonstrated binding of c-Fos-antigen(s) to the region of the TH promoter that supports activation by PMA and c-Fos/c-Jun. Temporal patterns of nicotinic agonist-stimulated induction of c-fos and TH mRNA are also consistent with a role for c-Fos in TH gene transcription. Our results demonstrate that the 5′-flanking region of the bovine TH gene operates as an authentic promoter capable (i) of directing cell-specific expression of a bacterial CAT gene and (ii) of conferring responsivity to PKC-stimulation. The results also suggest that the nuclear proteins c-Fos and c-Jun contribute to PKC pathway-mediated activation of the TH gene via direct interaction with the TH gene promoter. The activation of TH gene expression by PKC/c-Fos/c-Jun may serve as an additional or alternative mechanism to activation by the cAMP-CRE pathway. © 1992.

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Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience







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