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Mol Pharmacol. 1997 Dec;52(6):1019-26.

Both the cyclic AMP response element and the activator protein 2 binding site mediate basal and cyclic AMP-induced transcription from the dominant promoter of the rat alpha 1B-adrenergic receptor gene in DDT1MF-2 cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298, USA.


cAMP markedly increases alpha 1B adrenergic receptor (alpha 1B-AR) expression in FRTL-5 and PC C13 rat thyroid cells, DDT1MF-2 smooth muscle cells, primary rat hepatocytes, and K9 rat liver cells. Here, we used DDT1MF-2 cells to evaluate further the mechanisms by which cAMP stimulates alpha 1B-AR expression. Receptor binding assays, Northern blotting, and nuclear run-on analyses demonstrated that forskolin (1 microM) in the presence of isobutylmethylxanthine (0.25 mM) increased alpha 1B-AR numbers, mRNA level, and gene transcription rate by 2.3 +/- 0.2-, 2.5 +/- 0.3-, and 3.5 +/- 0.2-fold over control, respectively. Dibutyryl cAMP (1 mM) plus isobutylmethylxanthine (0.25 mM) also enhanced alpha 1B-AR density by 2.7 +/- 0.1-fold over control. Further experiments demonstrated that the induction of alpha 1B-AR by forskolin requires new protein synthesis and is protein kinase A dependent. In DDT1MF-2 cells transfected with alpha 1B-AR gene P2 promoter/CAT constructs, both forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP significantly increased P2 promoter activity. The P2 promoter region of the rat alpha 1B-AR gene (-813 to -432) contains a cAMP response element (CRE) (-444 to -437) and an AP2 binding site (-647 to -638). Mutations in either one of these elements alone led to a decrease in both basal and cAMP-induced P2 promoter activity. Mutations in both elements caused a further inhibition of basal transcription and a complete block of cAMP-induced P2 promoter activity. Direct binding of purified activator protein 2 (AP2) to the AP2 element in the P2 promoter was reported previously. Gel mobility shift and super-shift assays using liver nuclear extracts from either rat liver or DDT1MF-2 cells demonstrated that the CRE in the alpha 1B-AR gene bound CRE binding protein. These data indicate that both the CRE and the AP2 element in the P2 promoter contribute to basal as well as cAMP-induced transcription of the alpha 1B-AR gene in DDT1MF-2 cells.

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