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Neurochem Res. 2008 Sep;33(9):1821-31. doi: 10.1007/s11064-008-9639-3. Epub 2008 Mar 13.

Transcription factor GATA-3 regulates the transcriptional activity of dopamine beta-hydroxylase by interacting with Sp1 and AP4.

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Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, MRC215, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA, 02478, USA.


GATA-3 is a zinc finger transcription factor that is expressed in T cell lineages as well as in the nervous system during development. In this study, we report that forced expression of GATA-3 resulted in an increased number of dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH)-expressing neurons in primary neural crest stem cell (NCSC) culture, suggesting that the DBH gene may be a downstream target gene of GATA-3. GATA-3 robustly transactivates the promoter function of the noradrenaline (NA)-synthesizing DBH gene, via two specific upstream promoter domains; one at -62 to -32 bp and the other at -891 to -853 bp. Surprisingly, none of these domains contain GATA-3 binding sites but encompass binding motifs for transcription factors Sp1 and AP4, respectively. Protein-protein interaction analyses both in vitro and in vivo and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that GATA-3 effects its transcriptional regulatory function through physical interactions with these transcription factors.

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