Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Apr 6;420(2):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.01.157. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Calcium-calmodulin signaling induced by epithelial cell differentiation upregulates BRAK/CXCL14 expression via the binding of SP1 to the BRAK promoter region.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kanagawa Dental College, Yokosuka 238-8580, Japan.


The chemokine BRAK/CXCL14 (BRAK) is expressed in normal squamous epithelium, but is not expressed or is expressed at negligible levels in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Malignant cells are known to be dedifferentiated compared with normal epithelial cells, suggesting a role for differentiation cues in the expression of BRAK. Thus, we examined the relationship between BRAK expression and stages of differentiation level in epithelial cells. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that BRAK protein was expressed in cells above the spinous cell layer in normal epithelia. In HSC-3 cells in culture, expression of BRAK mRNA was significantly upregulated by cell contact in a cell density-dependent manner, and mRNA expression of cell differentiation markers such as involucrin, cystatin-A, TGM1, TGM3, and TGM5 was concomitantly augmented. Furthermore, the upregulation of BRAK induced by cell contact was suppressed by chlorpromazine, a specific inhibitor of calmodulin. We previously reported that GC boxes and a TATA-like sequence in the BRAK promoter region are associated with the expression of BRAK. Using a promoter assay and ChIP, we demonstrated that binding of the stimulating protein-1 (SP1) transcription factor to a GC box upstream of the BRAK transcription start site was necessary for cell density-dependent upregulation of BRAK. These results indicated that upregulation of BRAK was accompanied by differentiation of epithelial cells induced by calcium/calmodulin signaling, and that SP1 binding to the BRAK promoter region played an important role in this signaling.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk