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

Nuclear Factor-1-X Regulates Astrocyte-specific Expression of the {alpha}1-Antichymotrypsin and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Genes.

Discrete tissue-specific changes in chromatin structure of the distal serpin subcluster on human chromosome 14q32.1 allow a single gene encoding alpha(1)-antichymotrypsin (ACT) to be expressed in astrocytes and glioma cells. This astrocyte-specific regulation involves activatory protein-1 (AP-1) because overexpression of dominant-negative c-jun(TAM67) abolishes ACT expression in glioma cells. Here we identify a new regulatory element, located within the -13-kb enhancer of the ACT gene, that binds nuclear factor-1 (NFI) and is indispensable for the full basal transcriptional activity of the ACT gene. Furthermore, down-regulation of NFI expression by siRNA abolishes basal ACT expression in glioma cells. However, NFI does not mediate astrocyte-specific expression by itself, but likely cooperates with AP-1. A detailed analysis of the 14-kb long 5'-flanking region of the ACT gene indicated the presence of adjacent NFI and AP-1 elements that colocalized with DNase I-hypersensitive sites found in astrocytes and glioma cells. Interestingly, knock-down of NFI expression also specifically abrogates the expression of glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP), which is an astrocyte-specific marker protein. Mutations introduced into putative NFI and AP-1 elements within the 5'-flanking region of the GFAP gene also diminished basal expression of the reporter. In addition, we found, using isoform-specific siRNAs, that NFI-X regulates the astrocyte-specific expression of ACT and GFAP. We propose that NFI-X cooperates with AP-1 by an unknown mechanism in astrocytes, which results in the expression of a subset of astrocyte-specific genes.[1]


  1. Nuclear Factor-1-X Regulates Astrocyte-specific Expression of the {alpha}1-Antichymotrypsin and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Genes. Gopalan, S.M., Wilczynska, K.M., Konik, B.S., Bryan, L., Kordula, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2006) [Pubmed]
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