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Endocrinology. 2002 Jan;143(1):62-73.

Direct interaction of the Krüppel-like family (KLF) member, BTEB1, and PR mediates progesterone-responsive gene expression in endometrial epithelial cells.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Concentration in Animal Molecular and Cell Biology, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Shealy Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910, USA.


The present study was undertaken to evaluate the underlying mechanism(s) by which PR and a Krüppel-like family member, basic transcription element binding protein (BTEB1), mediate endometrial epithelial expression of pregnancy-associated genes. Human endometrial carcinoma cell lines (Hec-1-A) expressing high and low levels of BTEB1 were transiently transfected with a human PR isoform (PR-B) expression construct and a luciferase reporter gene driven by the uteroferrin gene promoter that is responsive to both BTEB1 and the PR ligand progesterone. Unliganded PR inhibited luciferase activity in low and high BTEB backgrounds, and this effect was reversed by the synthetic progestin R5020 in both lines. Transactivation by PR of uteroferrin promoter activity (approximately 4-fold) was maximal at lower R5020 concentrations (10 nM) in endometrial cells with higher BTEB1 expression, suggesting that nuclear BTEB1content influenced target gene promoter sensitivity to progesterone. BTEB1 and PR-B were found to physically interact in a progesterone-independent manner, using a coimmunoprecipitation assay that employed antibodies specific to either protein. Moreover, the formation of the BTEB1/PR complex, independent of progesterone, occurred within the context of uterine endometrial proteins and was diminished in late-pregnancy endometrium. Mammalian two-hybrid assays using the entire open reading frame of BTEB1 and/or PR-B fused to either the GAL4 DNA-binding domain or VP16 activation domain and a reporter gene (pG5CAT) under the control of GAL4-binding sites were used to evaluate the formation of functional PR-B/BTEB1 dimer in Cos-1 cells. GAL4/PR-B and VP16/PR-B induced ( approximately 3- to 4-fold) chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in a progesterone-dependent manner, suggesting PR-dimer formation. By contrast, VP16/PR-B and GAL4/BTEB1 had no effect on basal CAT activity. The combination of VP16- and GAL4-PR-B fusion proteins with the BTEB1 expression construct, pCDNA3-BTEB1 enhanced ligand-bound PR-mediated CAT activity by approximately 3-fold. In transient cotransfection assays using the CAT reporter gene driven by the mouse mammary tumor virus-long terminal repeat promoter, which is responsive to ligand-bound PR but not BTEB1, BTEB1 increased PR-B-mediated CAT activity in a progesterone-dependent manner, consistent with a BTEB1/PR-dimer complex occurring independent of BTEB1 binding to DNA. Unliganded PR-B disrupted the DNA-binding activity of BTEB1 in gel retardation assays, and this effect was enhanced by the presence of PR ligand. Together, these findings support the conclusion that BTEB1 and PR-B are coregulatory proteins that mediate progesterone responsiveness of target genes by direct interactions, leading to the formation of a functional BTEB1/PR-dimer complex.

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