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J Biol Chem. 1996 Jan 19;271(3):1695-701.

ATF3 gene. Genomic organization, promoter, and regulation.

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  • 1Ohio State Biochemistry Program, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


ATF3 gene, which encodes a member of the activating transcription factor/cAMP responsive element binding protein (ATF/CREB) family of transcription factors, is induced by many physiological stresses. As a step toward understanding the induction mechanisms, we isolated the human ATF3 gene and analyzed its genome organization and 5'-flanking region. We found that the human ATF3 mRNA is derived from four exons distributed over 15 kilobases. Sequence analysis of the 5'-flanking region revealed a consensus TATA box and a number of transcription factor binding sites including the AP-1, ATF/CRE, NF-kappa B, E2F, and Myc/Max binding sites. As another approach to understanding the mechanisms by which the ATF3 gene is induced by stress signals, we studied the regulation of the ATF3 gene in tissue culture cells by anisomycin, an approach that has been used to study the stress responses in tissue culture cells. We showed that anisomycin at a low concentration activates the ATF3 promoter and stabilizes the ATF3 mRNA. Significantly, co-transfection of DNAs expressing ATF2 and c-Jun activates the ATF3 promoter. A possible mechanism implicating the C-Jun NH2-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) stress-inducible signaling pathway in the induction of the ATF3 gene is discussed.

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