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J Neurochem. 2004 Dec;91(6):1493-500.

STAT6 transcription factor binding sites with mismatches within the canonical 5'-TTC...GAA-3' motif involved in regulation of delta- and mu-opioid receptors.

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1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract

Opioid receptors are expressed in neuronal and immune cells and regulated in response to immunological processes. Herein, we demonstrate up-regulation of the delta-opioid receptor gene by interleukin-4 in immune cells (primary T and polymorphonuclear leukocytes, Jurkat E6 T cells), and in NG 108-15 neuronal cells. We identified an interleukin-4-responsive element at nt -671 on the murine gene promoter, to which the transcription factor STAT6 binds, as shown by reporter gene analysis and STAT6/DNA interaction studies in living cells with transcription factor decoy oligonucleotides. STAT6 normally binds to palindromic DNA motifs with a 5'-TTC...GAA-3' core. Notably, the delta-opioid receptor STAT6 site (5'-TTC...GGA-3') is an imperfect palindrome with a mismatch within this core sequence. A systematic analysis of possible mismatch 5'-TTC...GAA-3' motifs revealed that STAT6 also binds to the sequence 5'-TTA...GAA-3'. This motif occurs as a polymorphism in the human mu-opioid receptor gene (Kraus et al. 2001 J. Biol. Chem 276, 43901-43908). We show that this mutated element has a significantly reduced STAT6 binding activity which correlates to its reduced interleukin (IL)-4 inducibility. In contrast, the non-canonical STAT6 site of the delta-opioid receptor binds STAT6 with similar high activity as a perfectly palindromic STAT6 site and is strongly inducible by IL-4.

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