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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Sep 15;405(2):265-74.

Multiple basic-leucine zipper proteins regulate induction of the mouse heme oxygenase-1 gene by arsenite.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1516 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


The mechanism of heme oxygenase-1 (ho-1) gene activation by arsenite was examined. Arsenite-stimulated expression of a ho-1 promoter/luciferase chimera in a dose-dependent manner in mouse hepatoma (Hepa) cells. Mutation analyses identified the arsenite-responsive sequence as the stress-response element (StRE), which resembles the binding sites for the AP-1 superfamily of basic-leucine zipper factors. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, up to seven specific StRE-protein complexes were routinely detected using extracts from untreated Hepa cells whereas a single complex was typically observed after treatment with arsenite. Antibody "supershift" experiments identified Nrf2, JunD, and ATF3 in control complexes and the amount of these factors increased significantly in the arsenite-induced complex. MafG, ATF2, FosB, and JunB were also detected in the arsenite complex. Activation of a StRE-dependent luciferase gene by arsenite was inhibited to varying degrees by dominant-negative mutants of Nrf2, MafK, c-Fos, and CREB but most strongly with the latter. Together, these results implicate multiple basic-leucine zipper transcription factors in ho-1 gene activation by arsenite.

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