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Biochem J. 2003 Jun 1;372(Pt 2):291-304.

Synergism between nuclear receptors bound to specific hormone response elements of the hepatic control region-1 and the proximal apolipoprotein C-II promoter mediate apolipoprotein C-II gene regulation by bile acids and retinoids.

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Department of Basic Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, PO Box 1393, 71500 Heraklion, Greece.


We have shown previously that the hepatic control region 1 (HCR-1) enhances the activity of the human apolipoprotein C-II (apoC-II) promoter in HepG2 cells via two hormone response elements (HREs) present in the apoC-II promoter. In the present paper, we report that the HCR-1 selectively mediates the transactivation of the apoC-II promoter by chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) and 9- cis -retinoic acid. CDCA, which is a natural ligand of farnesoid X receptor alpha (FXRalpha), increases the steady-state apoC-II mRNA levels in HepG2 cells. This increase in transcription requires the binding of retinoid X receptor alpha (RXRalpha)-FXRalpha heterodimers to a novel inverted repeat with one nucleotide spacing (IR-1) present in the HCR-1. This element also binds hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 and apoA-I regulatory protein-1. Transactivation of the HCR-1/apoC-II promoter cluster by RXRalpha-FXRalpha heterodimers in the presence of CDCA was abolished by mutations either in the IR-1 HRE of the HCR-1 or in the thyroid HRE of the proximal apoC-II promoter, which binds RXRalpha-thyroid hormone receptor beta (T3Rbeta) heterodimers. The same mutations also abolished transactivation of the HCR-1/apoC-II promoter cluster by RXRalpha-T3Rbeta heterodimers in the presence of tri-iodothyronine. The findings establish synergism between nuclear receptors bound to specific HREs of the proximal apoC-II promoter and the HCR-1, and suggest that this synergism mediates the induction of the HCR-1/apoC-II promoter cluster by bile acids and retinoids.

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