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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 20;276(16):12645-53. Epub 2001 Jan 22.

Molecular regulation of the endothelin-1 gene by hypoxia. Contributions of hypoxia-inducible factor-1, activator protein-1, GATA-2, AND p300/CBP.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Medical Center, Miami, Florida 33149, USA.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a peptide hormone with potent vasoconstrictor properties which is synthesized and secreted predominantly by vascular endothelial cells. Its production is regulated by numerous stimuli including ischemia and hypoxia, and the enhanced levels that occur during myocardial ischemia may contribute to the progression of heart failure. We reported previously a preliminary characterization of a hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) binding site in the human ET-1 promoter which contributed to the activation of ET-1 expression in endothelial cells. We report here that the HIF-1 binding site alone is not sufficient for the response to hypoxia but requires an additional 50 base pairs of flanking sequence that includes binding sites for the factors activator protein-1 (AP-1), GATA-2, and CAAT-binding factor (NF-1). Mutation of any one of these sites or the HIF-1 site eliminated induction by hypoxia. Mutations of the AP-1 and GATA-2 sites, but not the HIF-1 site, were complemented by overexpressing AP-1, GATA-2, HIF-1alpha, or the activator protein p300/CBP, restoring the response to hypoxia. Binding studies in vitro confirmed physical associations among GATA-2, AP-1, and HIF-1 factors. Overexpression or depletion of p300/CBP modulated the level of ET-1 promoter expression as well as the endogenous ET-1 transcript but did not change the fold induction by hypoxia in either case. Regulation of the ET-1 promoter by hypoxia in non-endothelial cells required overexpression of GATA-2 and HIF-1alpha. The results support essential roles for AP-1, GATA-2, and NF-1 in stabilizing the binding of HIF-1 and promoting recruitment of p300/CBP to the ET-1 hypoxia response complex.

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