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1.  Rapid Estrogen Receptor Signaling is Essential for the Protective Effects of Estrogen Against Vascular Injury 
Circulation  2012;126(16):1993-2004.
Background
Clinical trial and epidemiological data support that the cardiovascular effects of estrogen are complex, including a mixture of both potentially beneficial and harmful effects. In animal models, estrogen protects females from vascular injury and inhibits atherosclerosis. These effects are mediated by estrogen receptors (ERs), which when bound to estrogen can bind to DNA to directly regulate transcription. ERs can also activate several cellular kinases by inducing a “rapid” non-nuclear signaling cascade. However, the biologic significance of this rapid signaling pathway has been unclear.
Methods and Results
Here, we develop a novel transgenic mouse in which rapid signaling is blocked by over-expression of a peptide that prevents ERs from interacting with the scaffold protein, striatin (the Disrupting Peptide Mouse, DPM). Microarray analysis of ex vivo-treated mouse aortas demonstrates that rapid ER signaling plays an important role in estrogen-mediated gene regulatory responses. Disruption of ER-striatin interactions also eliminates the ability of estrogen to stimulate cultured endothelial cell migration and to inhibit cultured vascular smooth muscle cell growth. The importance of these findings is underscored by in vivo experiments demonstrating loss of estrogen-mediated protection against vascular injury in the DPM mouse following carotid artery wire injury.
Conclusions
Taken together, these results support that rapid, non-nuclear ER signaling contributes to the transcriptional regulatory functions of ER, and is essential for many of the vasoprotective effects of estrogen. These findings also identify the rapid ER signaling pathway as a potential target for the development of novel therapeutic agents.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.124529
PMCID: PMC3780602  PMID: 22997253
cardiovascular diseases; hormones; molecular biology; signal transduction
2.  Binding of LBP-1a to Specific Immunoglobulin Switch Regions in vivo Correlates with Specific Repression of Class Switch Recombination 
European journal of immunology  2009;39(5):1387-1394.
Upon stimulation of mature B cells, class switch recombination (CSR) can alter the specific immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region that is expressed. In a tissue culture cell line, we previously demonstrated that inhibition of late SV40 factor (LSF) family members enhanced IgM to IgA CSR. Here, isotype specificity of CSR regulation by LSF family members is addressed in primary mouse splenic B cells. First, we demonstrate that LBP-1a is the prevalent family member in B lymphocytes. Second, we demonstrate by ChIP that LBP-1a binds genomic sequences around mouse switch regions (S) in an isotype-specific manner, in accordance with computational predictions: binding is observed to Sμ and Sα, but not to the tested Sγ1, regions. Importantly, binding of LBP-1a is tightly regulated, with occupancy at genomic S regions dramatically decreasing following LPS stimulation. Finally, the consequence of DNA-binding by LBP-1a is determined using bone marrow chimeric mice in which LSF/LBP-1 activity is inhibited in hematopoietic lineages. Upon in vitro stimulation of such primary B-cells, CSR occurs with a higher efficiency to IgA, but not to IgG1. These results are supportive of a model whereby LBP-1a represses CSR in an isotype-specific manner via direct interaction with switch regions involved in the recombination.
doi:10.1002/eji.200838226
PMCID: PMC3407417  PMID: 19384868
B cells; Immunoglobulins; Molecular Biology; Recombinant Viral Vectors
3.  Mammalian transcription factor LSF is a target of ERK signaling 
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry  2003;89(4):733-746.
LSF is a mammalian transcription factor that is rapidly and quantitatively phosphorylated upon growth induction of resting, peripheral human T cells, as assayed by a reduction in its electrophoretic mobility. The DNA-binding activity of LSF in primary T cells is greatly increased after this phosphorylation event [Volker et al., 1997]. We demonstrate here that LSF is also rapidly and quantitatively phosphorylated upon growth induction in NIH 3T3 cells, although its DNA-binding activity is not significantly altered. Three lines of experimentation established that ERK is responsible for phosphorylating LSF upon growth induction in both cell types. First, phosphorylation of LSF by ERK is sufficient to cause the reduced electrophoretic mobility of LSF. Second, the amount of ERK activity correlates with the extent of LSF phosphorylation in both primary human T cells and NIH 3T3 cells. Finally, specific inhibitors of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway inhibit LSF modification in vivo. This phosphorylation by ERK is not sufficient for activation of LSF DNA-binding activity, as evidenced both in vitro and in mouse fibroblasts. Nonetheless, activation of ERK is a prerequisite for the substantial increase in LSF DNA-binding activity upon activation of resting T cells, indicating that ERK phosphorylation is necessary but not sufficient for activation of LSF in this cell type.
doi:10.1002/jcb.10549
PMCID: PMC3403288  PMID: 12858339
ERK; LSF; T cells; fibroblasts; DNA-binding; phosphorylation
4.  Lineage-specific and ubiquitous biological roles of the mammalian transcription factor LSF 
Gene  2004;343(1):23-40.
Transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells is driven by a complex interplay of multiple transcription factors that respond to signals from either external or internal stimuli. A single transcription factor can control expression of distinct sets of target genes, dependent on its state of post-translational modifications, interacting partner proteins, and the chromatin environment of the cellular genome. Furthermore, many transcription factors can act as either transcriptional repressors or activators, depending on promoter and cellular contexts (Alvarez, et al., 2003). Even in this light, the versatility of LSF (Late SV40 Factor) is remarkable. A hallmark of LSF is its unusual DNA binding domain, as evidenced both by lack of homology to any other established DNA-binding domains and by its DNA recognition sequence. Although a dimer in solution, LSF requires additional multimerization with itself or partner proteins in order to interact with DNA. Transcriptionally, LSF can function as an activator or a repressor. It is a direct target of an increasing number of signal transduction pathways. Biologically, LSF plays roles in cell cycle progression and cell survival, as well as in cell lineage-specific functions, shown most strikingly to date in hematopoietic lineages.
This review discusses how the unique aspects of LSF DNA-binding activity may make it particularly susceptible to regulation by signal transduction pathways and may relate to its distinct biological roles. We present current progress in elucidation of both tissue-specific and more universal cellular roles of LSF. Finally, we discuss suggestive data linking LSF to signaling by the amyloid precursor protein and to Alzheimer's disease, as well as to the regulation of latency of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
doi:10.1016/j.gene.2004.08.010
PMCID: PMC3402097  PMID: 15563829
GRH; DNA-binding; signal transduction; cell cycle progression; immune response; APP; HIV
5.  The transcription factor LSF: a novel oncogene for hepatocellular carcinoma 
The transcription factor LSF (Late SV40 Factor), also known as TFCP2, belongs to the LSF/CP2 family related to Grainyhead family of proteins and is involved in many biological events, including regulation of cellular and viral promoters, cell cycle, DNA synthesis, cell survival and Alzheimer’s disease. Our recent studies establish an oncogenic role of LSF in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). LSF overexpression is detected in human HCC cell lines and in more than 90% cases of human HCC patients, compared to normal hepatocytes and liver, and its expression level showed significant correlation with the stages and grades of the disease. Forced overexpression of LSF in less aggressive HCC cells resulted in highly aggressive, angiogenic and multi-organ metastatic tumors in nude mice. Conversely, inhibition of LSF significantly abrogated growth and metastasis of highly aggressive HCC cells in nude mice. Microarray studies revealed that as a transcription factor LSF modulated specific genes regulating invasion, angiogenesis, chemoresistance and senescence. LSF transcriptionally regulates thymidylate synthase (TS) gene, thus contributing to cell cycle regulation and chemoresistance. Our studies identify a network of proteins, including osteopontin (OPN), Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), c-Met and complement factor H (CFH), that are directly regulated by LSF and play important role in LSF-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. A high throughput screening identified small molecule inhibitors of LSF DNA binding and the prototype of these molecules, Factor Quinolinone inhibitor 1 (FQI1), profoundly inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in human HCC cells without exerting harmful effects to normal immortal human hepatocytes and primary mouse hepatocytes. In nude mice xenograft studies, FQI1 markedly inhibited growth of human HCC xenografts as well as angiogenesis without exerting any toxicity. These studies establish a key role of LSF in hepatocarcinogenesis and usher in a novel therapeutic avenue for HCC, an invariably fatal disease.
PMCID: PMC3365805  PMID: 22679558
Late SV40 Factor (LSF); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); osteopontin (OPN); matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); c-Met; thymidylate synthase (TS); angiogenesis; metastasis; cell cycle regulation; small molecule inhibitors; FQI1
6.  SCOREM: statistical consolidation of redundant expression measures 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(6):e46.
Many platforms for genome-wide analysis of gene expression contain ‘redundant’ measures for the same gene. For example, the most highly utilized platforms for gene expression microarrays, Affymetrix GeneChip® arrays, have as many as ten or more probe sets for some genes. Occasionally, individual probe sets for the same gene report different trends in expression across experimental conditions, a situation that must be resolved in order to accurately interpret the data. We developed an algorithm, SCOREM, for determining the level of agreement between such probe sets, utilizing a statistical test of concordance, Kendall's W coefficient of concordance, and a graph-searching algorithm for the identification of concordant probe sets. We also present methods for consolidating concordant groups into a single value for its corresponding gene and for post hoc analysis of discordant groups. By combining statistical consolidation with sequence analysis, SCOREM possesses the unique ability to identify biologically meaningful discordant behaviors, including differing behaviors in alternate RNA isoforms and tissue-specific patterns of expression. When consolidating concordant behaviors, SCOREM outperforms other methods in detecting both differential expression and overrepresented functional categories.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr1270
PMCID: PMC3315298  PMID: 22210887
7.  Transcriptional regulation by HMGN proteins 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2010;1799(1-2):74.
doi:10.1016/j.bbagrm.2009.11.006
PMCID: PMC2818479  PMID: 20123070
HMGN; chromatin; transcription; transcription factors; chromatin remodeling; protein modifications
8.  High levels of microRNA-21 in the stroma of colorectal cancers predict short disease-free survival in stage II colon cancer patients 
Approximately 25% of all patients with stage II colorectal cancer will experience recurrent disease and subsequently die within 5 years. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is upregulated in several cancer types and has been associated with survival in colon cancer. In the present study we developed a robust in situ hybridization assay using high-affinity Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) probes that specifically detect miR-21 in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. The expression of miR-21 was analyzed by in situ hybridization on 130 stage II colon and 67 stage II rectal cancer specimens. The miR-21 signal was revealed as a blue chromogenic reaction, predominantly observed in fibroblast-like cells located in the stromal compartment of the tumors. The expression levels were measured using image analysis. The miR-21 signal was determined as the total blue area (TB), or the area fraction relative to the nuclear density (TBR) obtained using a red nuclear stain. High TBR (and TB) estimates of miR-21 expression correlated significantly with shorter disease-free survival (p = 0.004, HR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.06–1.55) in the stage II colon cancer patient group, whereas no significant correlation with disease-free survival was observed in the stage II rectal cancer group. In multivariate analysis both TB and TBR estimates were independent of other clinical parameters (age, gender, total leukocyte count, K-RAS mutational status and MSI). We conclude that miR-21 is primarily a stromal microRNA, which when measured by image analysis identifies a subgroup of stage II colon cancer patients with short disease-free survival.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10585-010-9355-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10585-010-9355-7
PMCID: PMC2998639  PMID: 21069438
MicroRNA; MiR-21; Colorectal cancer; In situ hybridization; LNA
9.  Transcription factors LSF and E2Fs: Tandem cyclists driving G0 to S? 
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)  2009;8(14):2146-2151.
Cell cycle progression in mammalian cells from G1 into S phase requires sensing and integration of multiple inputs, in order to determine whether to continue to cellular DNA replication and subsequently, to cell division. Passage to S requires transition through the restriction point, which at a molecular level consists of a bistable switch involving E2Fs and pRb family members. At the G1/S boundary, a number of genes essential for DNA replication and cell cycle progression are upregulated, promoting entry into S phase. Although the activating E2Fs are the most extensively characterized transcription factors driving G1/S expression, LSF is also a transcription factor essential for stimulating G1/S gene expression. A critical LSF target gene at this stage, Tyms, encodes thymidylate synthetase. In investigating how LSF is activated in a cell cycle-dependent manner, we recently identified a novel time delay mechanism for regulating its activity during G1 progression, which is apparently independent of the E2F/pRb axis. This involves inhibition of LSF in early G1 by two major proliferative signaling pathways: ERK and cyclin C/CDK, followed by gradual dephosphorylation during mid- to late-G1. Whether LSF and E2F act independently or in concert to promote G1/S progression remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC2796248  PMID: 19556876
LSF; cyclin C/CDK; ERK; thymidylate synthetase; E2F; pRb; p53; G1 phase; S phase; restriction point
10.  The evolutionary diversification of LSF and Grainyhead transcription factors preceded the radiation of basal animal lineages 
Background
The transcription factors of the LSF/Grainyhead (GRH) family are characterized by the possession of a distinctive DNA-binding domain that bears no clear relationship to other known DNA-binding domains, with the possible exception of the p53 core domain. In triploblastic animals, the LSF and GRH subfamilies have diverged extensively with respect to their biological roles, general expression patterns, and mechanism of DNA binding. For example, Grainyhead (GRH) homologs are expressed primarily in the epidermis, and they appear to play an ancient role in maintaining the epidermal barrier. By contrast, LSF homologs are more widely expressed, and they regulate general cellular functions such as cell cycle progression and survival in addition to cell-lineage specific gene expression.
Results
To illuminate the early evolution of this family and reconstruct the functional divergence of LSF and GRH, we compared homologs from 18 phylogenetically diverse taxa, including four basal animals (Nematostella vectensis, Vallicula multiformis, Trichoplax adhaerens, and Amphimedon queenslandica), a choanoflagellate (Monosiga brevicollis) and several fungi. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses of these sequences indicate that (1) the LSF/GRH gene family originated prior to the animal-fungal divergence, and (2) the functional diversification of the LSF and GRH subfamilies occurred prior to the divergence between sponges and eumetazoans. Aspects of the domain architecture of LSF/GRH proteins are well conserved between fungi, choanoflagellates, and metazoans, though within the Metazoa, the LSF and GRH families are clearly distinct. We failed to identify a convincing LSF/GRH homolog in the sequenced genomes of the algae Volvox carteri and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii or the amoebozoan Dictyostelium purpureum. Interestingly, the ancestral GRH locus has become split into two separate loci in the sea anemone Nematostella, with one locus encoding a DNA binding domain and the other locus encoding the dimerization domain.
Conclusions
In metazoans, LSF and GRH proteins play a number of roles that are essential to achieving and maintaining multicellularity. It is now clear that this protein family already existed in the unicellular ancestor of animals, choanoflagellates, and fungi. However, the diversification of distinct LSF and GRH subfamilies appears to be a metazoan invention. Given the conserved role of GRH in maintaining epithelial integrity in vertebrates, insects, and nematodes, it is noteworthy that the evolutionary origin of Grh appears roughly coincident with the evolutionary origin of the epithelium.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-101
PMCID: PMC2873413  PMID: 20398424
11.  Phosphorylation by Cyclin C/Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 following Mitogenic Stimulation of Murine Fibroblasts Inhibits Transcriptional Activity of LSF during G1 Progression▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(9):2335-2345.
Transcription factor LSF is required for progression from quiescence through the cell cycle, regulating thymidylate synthase (Tyms) expression at the G1/S boundary. Given the constant level of LSF protein from G0 through S, we investigated whether LSF is regulated by phosphorylation in G1. In vitro, LSF is phosphorylated by cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), cyclin C/CDK2, and cyclin C/CDK3, predominantly on S309. Phosphorylation of LSF on S309 is maximal 1 to 2 h after mitogenic stimulation of quiescent mouse fibroblasts. This phosphorylation is mediated by cyclin C-dependent kinases, as shown by coimmunoprecipitation of LSF and cyclin C in early G1 and by abrogation of LSF S309 phosphorylation upon suppression of cyclin C with short interfering RNA. Although mouse fibroblasts lack functional CDK3 (the partner of cyclin C in early G1 in human cells), CDK2 compensates for this absence. By transient transfection assays, phosphorylation at S309, mediated by cyclin C overexpression, inhibits LSF transactivation. Moreover, overexpression of cyclin C and CDK3 inhibits induction of endogenous Tyms expression at the G1/S transition. These results identify LSF as only the second known target (in addition to pRb) of cyclin C/CDK activity during progression from quiescence to early G1. Unexpectedly, this phosphorylation prevents induction of LSF target genes until late G1.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00687-08
PMCID: PMC2668376  PMID: 19237534
12.  HMGN1 Modulates Estrogen-Mediated Transcriptional Activation through Interactions with Specific DNA-Binding Transcription Factors▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(24):8859-8873.
HMGN1, an abundant nucleosomal binding protein, can affect both the chromatin higher order structure and the modification of nucleosomal histones, but it alters the expression of only a subset of genes. We investigated specific gene targeting by HMGN1 in the context of estrogen induction of gene expression. Knockdown and overexpression experiments indicated that HMGN1 limits the induction of several estrogen-regulated genes, including TFF1 and FOS, which are induced by estrogen through entirely distinct mechanisms. HMGN1 specifically interacts with estrogen receptor α (ERα), both in vitro and in vivo. At the TFF1 promoter, estrogen increases HMGN1 association through recruitment by the ERα. HMGN1 S20E/S24E, although deficient in binding nucleosomal DNA, still interacts with ERα and, strikingly, still represses estrogen-driven activation of the TFF1 gene. On the FOS promoter, which lacks the ERα binding sites, constitutively bound serum response factor (SRF) mediates estrogen stimulation. HMGN1 also interacts specifically with SRF, but HMGN1 S20E/S24E does not. Consistent with the protein interactions, only wild-type HMGN1 significantly inhibits the estrogen-driven activation of the FOS gene. Mechanistically, the inhibition of estrogen induction of several ERα-associated genes, including TFF1, by HMGN1 correlates with decreased levels of acetylation of Lys9 on histone H3. Together, these findings indicate that HMGN1 regulates the expression of particular genes via specific protein-protein interactions with transcription factors at target gene regulatory regions.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01724-07
PMCID: PMC2169410  PMID: 17938209
13.  Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases Regulate LSF Occupancy at the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Promoter 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(10):5952-5962.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) establishes a persistent, nonproductive state within a small population of memory CD4+ cells. The transcription factor LSF binds to sequences within the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) initiation region and recruits a second factor, YY1, to the LTR. These factors then cooperatively recruit histone deacetylase 1 to the LTR, resulting in inhibition of transcription. This appears to be one mechanism contributing to HIV persistence within resting CD4+ T cells. We sought to further detail LSF binding to the HIV-1 LTR and factors that regulate LSF occupancy. We find that LSF binds the LTR as a tetramer and that binding is regulated by phosphorylation mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). In vitro, phosphorylation of LSF by Erk decreases binding to the LTR, while binding is increased by p38 phosphorylation. LSF occupancy at LTR chromatin is increased by the p38 agonist anisomycin and decreased by specific p38 inhibition. p38 inhibition also results in increased acetylation of histone H4 at the LTR nucleosome adjacent to the LSF binding site. p38 inhibition also blocked the ability of YY1 to inhibit activation of the integrated HIV promoter. Finally, HIV was recovered from the resting CD4+ T cells of aviremic, HIV-infected donors upon treatment of these cells with specific inhibitor of p38. These data suggest that the MAPK pathway regulates LSF binding to the LTR and thereby one aspect of the regulation of HIV expression. This mechanism could be exploited as a novel therapeutic target to disrupt latent HIV infection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.79.10.5952-5962.2005
PMCID: PMC1091734  PMID: 15857981
14.  Detection of functional DNA motifs via statistical over-representation 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(4):1372-1381.
The interaction of proteins with DNA recognition motifs regulates a number of fundamental biological processes, including transcription. To understand these processes, we need to know which motifs are present in a sequence and which factors bind to them. We describe a method to screen a set of DNA sequences against a precompiled library of motifs, and assess which, if any, of the motifs are statistically over- or under-represented in the sequences. Over-represented motifs are good candidates for playing a functional role in the sequences, while under-representation hints that if the motif were present, it would have a harmful dysregulatory effect. We apply our method (implemented as a computer program called Clover) to dopamine-responsive promoters, sequences flanking binding sites for the transcription factor LSF, sequences that direct transcription in muscle and liver, and Drosophila segmentation enhancers. In each case Clover successfully detects motifs known to function in the sequences, and intriguing and testable hypotheses are made concerning additional motifs. Clover compares favorably with an ab initio motif discovery algorithm based on sequence alignment, when the motif library includes only a homolog of the factor that actually regulates the sequences. It also demonstrates superior performance over two contingency table based over-representation methods. In conclusion, Clover has the potential to greatly accelerate characterization of signals that regulate transcription.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh299
PMCID: PMC390287  PMID: 14988425
15.  Computational inference of transcriptional regulatory networks from expression profiling and transcription factor binding site identification 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(1):179-188.
We have developed a computational method for transcriptional regulatory network inference, CARRIE (Computational Ascertainment of Regu latory Relationships Inferred from Expression), which combines microarray and promoter sequence analysis. CARRIE uses sources of data to identify the transcription factors (TFs) that regulate gene expression changes in response to a stimulus and generates testable hypotheses about the regulatory network connecting these TFs to the genes they regulate. The promoter analysis component of CARRIE, ROVER (Relative OVER-abundance of cis-elements), is highly accurate at detecting the TFs that regulate the response to a stimulus. ROVER also predicts which genes are regulated by each of these TFs. CARRIE uses these transcriptional interactions to infer a regulatory network. To demonstrate our method, we applied CARRIE to six sets of publicly available DNA microarray experiments on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The predicted networks were validated with comparisons to literature sources, experimental TF binding data, and gene ontology biological process information.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh183
PMCID: PMC373293  PMID: 14704355
16.  Finding functional sequence elements by multiple local alignment 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(1):189-200.
Algorithms that detect and align locally similar regions of biological sequences have the potential to discover a wide variety of functional motifs. Two theoretical contributions to this classic but unsolved problem are presented here: a method to determine the width of the aligned motif automatically; and a technique for calculating the statistical significance of alignments, i.e. an assessment of whether the alignments are stronger than those that would be expected to occur by chance among random, unrelated sequences. Upon exploring variants of the standard Gibbs sampling technique to optimize the alignment, we discovered that simulated annealing approaches perform more efficiently. Finally, we conduct failure tests by applying the algorithm to increasingly difficult test cases, and analyze the manner of and reasons for eventual failure. Detection of transcription factor-binding motifs is limited by the motifs’ intrinsic subtlety rather than by inadequacy of the alignment optimization procedure.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh169
PMCID: PMC373279  PMID: 14704356
17.  Functional conservation between members of an ancient duplicated transcription factor family, LSF/Grainyhead 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(15):4304-4316.
The LSF/Grainyhead transcription factor family is involved in many important biological processes, including cell cycle, cell growth and development. In order to investigate the evolutionary conservation of these biological roles, we have characterized two new family members in Caenorhabditis elegans and Xenopus laevis. The C.elegans member, Ce-GRH-1, groups with the Grainyhead subfamily, while the X.laevis member, Xl-LSF, groups with the LSF subfamily. Ce-GRH-1 binds DNA in a sequence-specific manner identical to that of Drosophila melanogaster Grainyhead. In addition, Ce-GRH-1 binds to sequences upstream of the C.elegans gene encoding aromatic l-amino-acid decarboxylase and genes involved in post-embryonic development, mab-5 and dbl-1. All three C.elegans genes are homologs of D.melanogaster Grainyhead-regulated genes. RNA-mediated interference of Ce-grh-1 results in embryonic lethality in worms, accompanied by soft, defective cuticles. These phenotypes are strikingly similar to those observed previously in D.melanogaster grainyhead mutants, suggesting conservation of the developmental role of these family members over the course of evolution. Our phylogenetic analysis of the expanded LSF/GRH family (including other previously unrecognized proteins/ESTs) suggests that the structural and functional dichotomy of this family dates back more than 700 million years, i.e. to the time when the first multicellular organisms are thought to have arisen.
PMCID: PMC169928  PMID: 12888489
18.  Statistical significance of clusters of motifs represented by position specific scoring matrices in nucleotide sequences 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(14):3214-3224.
The human genome encodes the transcriptional control of its genes in clusters of cis-elements that constitute enhancers, silencers and promoter signals. The sequence motifs of individual cis- elements are usually too short and degenerate for confident detection. In most cases, the requirements for organization of cis-elements within these clusters are poorly understood. Therefore, we have developed a general method to detect local concentrations of cis-element motifs, using predetermined matrix representations of the cis-elements, and calculate the statistical significance of these motif clusters. The statistical significance calculation is highly accurate not only for idealized, pseudorandom DNA, but also for real human DNA. We use our method ‘cluster of motifs E-value tool’ (COMET) to make novel predictions concerning the regulation of genes by transcription factors associated with muscle. COMET performs comparably with two alternative state-of-the-art techniques, which are more complex and lack E-value calculations. Our statistical method enables us to clarify the major bottleneck in the hard problem of detecting cis-regulatory regions, which is that many known enhancers do not contain very significant clusters of the motif types that we search for. Thus, discovery of additional signals that belong to these regulatory regions will be the key to future progress.
PMCID: PMC135758  PMID: 12136103
19.  Binding of TATA Binding Protein to a Naturally Positioned Nucleosome Is Facilitated by Histone Acetylation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(4):1404-1415.
The TATA sequence of the human, estrogen-responsive pS2 promoter is complexed in vivo with a rotationally and translationally positioned nucleosome (NUC T). Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrate that TATA binding protein (TBP) does not detectably interact with this genomic binding site in MCF-7 cells in the absence of transcriptional stimuli. Estrogen stimulation of these cells results in hyperacetylation of both histones H3 and H4 within the pS2 chromatin encompassing NUC T and the TATA sequence. Concurrently, TBP becomes associated with the pS2 promoter region. The relationship between histone hyperacetylation and the binding of TBP was assayed in vitro using an in vivo-assembled nucleosomal array over the pS2 promoter. With chromatin in its basal state, the binding of TBP to the pS2 TATA sequence at the edge of NUC T was severely restricted, consistent with our in vivo data. Acetylation of the core histones facilitated the binding of TBP to this nucleosomal TATA sequence. Therefore, we demonstrate that one specific, functional consequence of induced histone acetylation at a native promoter is the alleviation of nucleosome-mediated repression of the binding of TBP. Our data support a fundamental role for histone acetylation at genomic promoters in transcriptional activation by nuclear receptors and provide a general mechanism for rapid and reversible transcriptional activation from a chromatin template.
doi:10.1128/MCB.21.4.1404-1415.2001
PMCID: PMC99592  PMID: 11158325
20.  The Human Factors YY1 and LSF Repress the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Long Terminal Repeat via Recruitment of Histone Deacetylase 1 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(15):6790-6799.
Enigmatic mechanisms restore the resting state in activated lymphocytes following human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, rarely allowing persistent nonproductive infection. We detail a mechanism whereby cellular factors could establish virological latency. The transcription factors YY1 and LSF cooperate in repression of transcription from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR). LSF recruits YY1 to the LTR via the zinc fingers of YY1. The first two zinc fingers were observed to be sufficient for this interaction in vitro. A mutant of LSF incapable of binding DNA blocked repression. Like other transcriptional repressors, YY1 can function via recruitment of histone deacetylase (HDAC). We find that HDAC1 copurifies with the LTR-binding YY1-LSF repressor complex, the domain of YY1 that interacts with HDAC1 is required to repress the HIV-1 promoter, expression of HDAC1 augments repression of the LTR by YY1, and the deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A blocks repression mediated by YY1. This novel link between HDAC recruitment and inhibition of HIV-1 expression by YY1 and LSF, in the natural context of a viral promoter integrated into chromosomal DNA, is the first demonstration of a molecular mechanism of repression of HIV-1. YY1 and LSF may establish transcriptional and virological latency of HIV, a state that has recently been recognized in vivo and has significant implications for the long-term treatment of AIDS.
PMCID: PMC112196  PMID: 10888618

Results 1-20 (20)