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J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 13;279(33):34191-200. Epub 2004 May 27.

The synergistic effect of dexamethasone and all-trans-retinoic acid on hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase gene expression involves the coactivator p300.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-0615, USA.

Abstract

Activation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene transcription in response to all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) or a glucocorticoid such as dexamethasone (Dex) requires a distinct arrangement of DNA-response elements and their cognate transcription activators on the gene promoter. Two of the accessory factor-binding elements involved in the Dex response (gAF1 and gAF3) coincide with the DNA-response elements involved in the RA response. We demonstrate here that the combination of Dex/RA has a synergistic effect on endogenous PEPCK gene expression in rat hepatocytes and H4IIE hepatoma cells. Reporter gene studies show that the gAF3 element and one of the two glucocorticoid receptor-binding elements (GR1) are most important for this effect. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that when H4IIE cells were treated with Dex/RA, ligand-activated retinoic acid receptors (retinoic acid receptor/retinoid X receptor) and glucocorticoid receptors are recruited to this gene promoter, as are the transcription coregulators p300, CREB-binding protein, p/CIP, and SRC-1. Notably, the recruitment of p300 and RNA polymerase II to the PEPCK promoter is increased by the combined Dex/RA treatment compared with Dex or RA treatment alone. The functional importance of p300 in the Dex/RA response is illustrated by the observation that selective reduction of this coactivator, but not that of CREB-binding protein, abolishes the synergistic effect in H4IIE cells.

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