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1.  Genome-wide search identifies Ccnd2 as a direct transcriptional target of Elf5 in mouse mammary gland 
BMC Molecular Biology  2010;11:68.
The ETS transcription factor Elf5 (also known as ESE-2) is highly expressed in the mammary gland and plays an important role in its development and differentiation. Indeed studies in mice have illustrated an essential role for Elf5 in directing alveologenesis during pregnancy. Although the molecular mechanisms that underlie the developmental block in Elf5 null mammary glands are beginning to be unraveled, this investigation has been hampered by limited information about the identity of Elf5-target genes. To address this shortcoming, in this study we have performed ChIP-cloning experiments to identify the specific genomic segments that are occupied by Elf5 in pregnant mouse mammary glands.
Sequencing and genomic localization of cis-regulatory regions bound by Elf5 in vivo has identified several potential target genes covering broad functional categories. A subset of these target genes demonstrates higher expression levels in Elf5-null mammary glands suggesting a repressive functional role for this transcription factor. Here we focus on one putative target of Elf5, the Ccnd2 gene that appeared in our screen. We identify a novel Elf5-binding segment upstream of the Ccnd2 gene and demonstrate that Elf5 can transcriptionally repress Ccnd2 by directly binding to the proximal promoter region. Finally, using Elf5-null mammary epithelial cells and mammary glands, we show that loss of Elf5 in vivo leads to up regulation of Ccnd2 and an altered expression pattern in luminal cells.
Identification of Elf5-targets is an essential first step in elucidating the transcriptional landscape that is shaped by this important regulator. Our studies offer new toolbox in examining the biological role of Elf5 in mammary gland development and differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2949602  PMID: 20831799
2.  Reciprocal regulation of p63 by C/EBP delta in human keratinocytes 
Genetic experiments have clarified that p63 is a key transcription factor governing the establishment and maintenance of multilayered epithelia. Key to our understanding of p63 strategy is the identification of target genes. We perfomed an RNAi screening in keratinocytes for p63, followed by profiling analysis.
C/EBPδ, member of a family with known roles in differentiation pathways, emerged as a gene repressed by p63. We validated C/EBPδ as a primary target of ΔNp63α by RT-PCR and ChIP location analysis in HaCaT and primary cells. C/EBPδ is differentially expressed in stratification of human skin and it is up-regulated upon differentiation of HaCaT and primary keratinocytes. It is bound to and activates the ΔNp63 promoter. Overexpression of C/EBPδ leads to alteration in the normal profile of p63 isoforms, with the emergence of ΔNp63β and γ, and of the TA isoforms, with different kinetics. In addition, there are changes in the expression of most p63 targets. Inactivation of C/EBPδ leads to gene expression modifications, in part due to the concomitant repression of ΔNp63α. Finally, C/EBPδ is found on the p63 targets in vivo by ChIP analysis, indicating that coregulation is direct.
Our data highlight a coherent cross-talk between these two transcription factors in keratinocytes and a large sharing of common transcriptional targets.
PMCID: PMC2148061  PMID: 17903252
3.  Novel in vivo targets of ΔNp63 in keratinocytes identified by a modified chromatin immunoprecipitation approach 
p63 is a transcription factor that plays an important role in skin epidermal development and differentiation. The p63 gene encodes for two major protein isoforms, those containing an amino-terminal trans-activation domain (TAp63) and those lacking this domain (ΔNp63). Both the TA and ΔN transcripts are also alternatively spliced at the 3' end producing proteins with unique C-termini that are designated as α, β and γ isoforms. Recent research has suggested that ΔNp63 is the predominant isoform expressed and active in keratinocytes.
To better elucidate the biological role of p63 in regulating gene expression in keratinocytes we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments with ΔNp63-specific antibodies. We included an additional step in the ChIP procedure to enrich for ΔNp63 targets by screening the library of immunoprecipitated DNA for its ability to bind recombinant GST-ΔNp63. Cloning of ΔNp63-ChIP-derived DNA fragments identified more than 60 potential ΔNp63 target loci that were located close to or embedded within known or predicted genes. Identity of these target genes suggests that they may participate in a myriad of cellular processes including transcriptional regulation, signaling and metabolism. Here we confirm the binding of ΔNp63 to several of these genomic loci both by EMSA and replicate ChIP assays. Finally we show that the expression of many of these target genes is altered when ΔNp63 levels in keratinocytes are reduced by siRNA, further confirming that these are bona fide targets.
This unbiased genomic approach has allowed us to uncover functional targets of ΔNp63 and serves as the initial step in further analysis of the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that are governed by p63 in keratinocytes.
PMCID: PMC1890296  PMID: 17521434

Results 1-3 (3)