Zinc finger transcription factor Egr-1 is involved in stimulation of NHE2 gene expression by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate

Jaleh Malakooti, Ricardo Sandoval, Vanchad C Memark, Pradeep K Dudeja, Krishnamurthy Ramaswamy
American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2005, 289 (4): G653-63
The apical membrane Na(+)/H(+) exchanger isoforms NHE2 and NHE3 are involved in transepithelial Na(+) absorption in the intestine. However, they exhibit differences in their pattern of tissue expression and regulation of their activity by various molecular signals. To study the mechanisms involved in the transcriptional regulation of these genes, we characterized cis-acting elements within the human NHE2 promoter that regulate NHE2 promoter expression in C2BBe1 cells. A small DNA region (-85/+249) was involved in the regulation of basal transcriptional activity of the NHE2 promoter as determined by transient transfection assays. RT-PCR analysis showed that NHE2 mRNA was upregulated in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Results from actinomycin D-treated cells indicated that the regulation of the NHE2 gene by PMA occurs in part at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, PMA treatment led to a 100% increase in promoter activity through elements located on the -415/+249 DNA fragment. A PMA-induced nuclear factor that bound to the NHE2 promoter was identified as the transcription factor Egr-1. We identified two PMA response elements in the -415/+1 promoter region that bind to Sp1 and Sp3 in untreated nuclear extracts and to Egr-1 in PMA-treated nuclear extracts. In cotransfection experiments, Egr-1 was able to transactivate the NHE2 promoter. Our data indicate that Egr-1 may play a key role in regulated expression of the human NHE2 gene.

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