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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The mouse nac1 gene, encoding a cocaine-regulated Bric-a-brac Tramtrac Broad complex/Pox virus and Zinc finger protein, is regulated by AP1.

NAC1 cDNA was identified as a novel transcript induced in the nucleus accumbens from rats chronically treated with cocaine. NAC1 is a member of the Bric-a-brac Tramtrac Broad complex/Pox virus and Zinc finger family of transcription factors and has been shown by overexpression studies to prevent the development of behavioral sensitization resulting from repeated cocaine treatment. This paper reports the cloning and characterization of the corresponding gene. The mouse Nac1 gene consist of six exons, with exon 2 containing an alternative splice donor, providing a molecular explanation of the splice variants observed in mouse and rat. Transcripts of Nac1 were ubiquitously detected in different mouse tissues with prominent expression in the brain. The mouse Nac1 gene was localized to chromosome 8, suggesting a highly plausible candidate gene to explain differences in cocaine-induced behaviors between C57BL6/J and DBA/2J mice that had previously been mapped to the area. In addition, a functional AP1 binding site has been identified in an intron 1 enhancer of the Nac1 gene that plays an essential role in the activation of the gene in differentiation of neuroblastoma cells. Co-transfection with c-jun and c-fos expression plasmids, which encode the two subunits of AP1, activated the wild type Nac1 intron 1 enhancer two-fold over basal, nearly at the level of NAC1 enhancer activity seen in differentiated N2A cells. Mutation of the AP1 site completely abrogated all activation of the NAC1 enhancer in differentiated N2A cells. Activation of immediate early genes such as c-fos and c-jun following chronic drug treatments has been well characterized. The present data describe one potential regulatory cascade involving these transcription factors and activation of NAC1. Identification of drug induced alterations in gene expression is key to understanding the types of molecular adaptations underlying addiction.[1]


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