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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 14;100(21):12247-52. Epub 2003 Oct 3.

Distribution of NF-kappaB-binding sites across human chromosome 22.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8005, USA.


We have mapped the chromosomal binding site distribution of a transcription factor in human cells. The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors plays an essential role in regulating the induction of genes involved in several physiological processes, including apoptosis, immunity, and inflammation. The binding sites of the NF-kappaB family member p65 were determined by using chromatin immunoprecipitation and a genomic microarray of human chromosome 22 DNA. Sites of binding were observed along the entire chromosome in both coding and noncoding regions, with an enrichment at the 5' end of genes. Strikingly, a significant proportion of binding was seen in intronic regions, demonstrating that transcription factor binding is not restricted to promoter regions. NF-kappaB binding was also found at genes whose expression was regulated by tumor necrosis factor alpha, a known inducer of NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression, as well as adjacent to genes whose expression is not affected by tumor necrosis factor alpha. Many of these latter genes are either known to be activated by NF-kappaB under other conditions or are consistent with NF-kappaB's role in the immune and apoptotic responses. Our results suggest that binding is not restricted to promoter regions and that NF-kappaB binding occurs at a significant number of genes whose expression is not altered, thereby suggesting that binding alone is not sufficient for gene activation.

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