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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 3;362(4):905-9. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Ptf1a and RBP-J cooperate in activating Pdx1 gene expression through binding to Area III.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics (A8), Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan. miyatuka@medone.med.osaka-u.ac.jp


Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor 1 (Pdx1) has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in pancreas development and in maintenance of mature beta-cell function. However, it remains to be elucidated how Pdx1 gene expression is regulated in non-beta cells during pancreas development. Pdx1 and Ptf1a are expressed in pancreatic progenitor cells, which give rise to all three types of pancreatic tissue. In addition, Ptf1a has been shown to bind the mammalian Suppressor of Hairless (RBP-J) within the PTF1 complex. Furthermore, loss-of-function approaches have revealed that all three factors are essential for early pancreas development. We therefore hypothesized that Ptf1a and RBP-J regulate expression of the Pdx1 gene in pancreatic precursors. Reporter gene analyses showed that Ptf1a transactivated Pdx1 promoter in pancreatic Panc-1 cells, which was enhanced by RBP-J. Deletion/mutation analyses of the Pdx1 promoter and electrophoretic gel-mobility shift assays identified the Ptf1a binding site in the well-conserved regulatory sequence domain, termed Area III, which was also confirmed by the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Furthermore, adenovirus-mediated overexpression of Ptf1a, together with RBP-J, markedly increased Pdx1 protein levels in pancreatic AR42J-B13 cells. Our data suggest a novel transcriptional network, where Ptf1a and RBP-J cooperatively regulate Pdx1 gene expression through binding to Area III.

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