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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 12;276(2):1516-22.

Functional interaction of NF-Y and Sp1 is required for type a natriuretic peptide receptor gene transcription.

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Metabolic Research Unit and Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0540, USA.


The vasorelaxant and anti-mitogenic activities of the atrial and brain natriuretic peptides depend upon their binding to the type A natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR-A) expressed on the surface of vascular cells. Intervention strategies aimed at controlling NPR-A expression are limited by the paucity of studies in this area. Here we identify a sequence CCAAT between -141 and -137 of the NPR-A promoter that, when mutated, reduces promoter activity by 90% in rat aortic smooth muscle (RASM) cells. Protein/DNA cross-linking and immunoperturbation of electrophoretically shifted complexes formed between RASM nuclear extracts and an oligonucleotide surrounding the CCAAT sequence indicates that the heterotrimeric transcription factor NF-Y binds specifically to the wild-type, but not mutated, CCAAT element. Cotransfection of a dominant negative mutant of the NF-YA subunit results in a concentration-dependent decrease in the activity of the NPR-A promoter in RASM cells confirming that endogenous NF-Y is an activator of the promoter. Mutation of the CCAAT element, in conjunction with mutation of all three Sp1 sites previously shown to be involved in NPR-A promoter regulation, virtually eliminates NPR-A promoter activity in RASM cells. Coexpression of all three NF-Y subunits together with Sp1 in Drosophila cells deficient in these factors indicates that NF-Y and Sp1 act synergistically to reconstitute NPR-A promoter activity. A direct physical association between NF-Y and Sp1 can be demonstrated both in vitro by glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay and in the intact cell by coimmunoprecipitation and functional studies. Together, these studies show that NPR-A promoter activity is dominantly regulated through functional, and possibly physical, interactions of NF-Y and Sp1.

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