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Biosci Rep. 2009 Feb;29(1):57-70. doi: 10.1042/BSR20080094.

Regulation of natriuretic peptide receptor-A gene expression and stimulation of its guanylate cyclase activity by transcription factor Ets-1.

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Department of Physiology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, U.S.A.


ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide) exerts its biological effects by binding to GC (guanylate cyclase)-A/NPR (natriuretic peptide receptor)-A, which generates the second messenger cGMP. The molecular mechanism mediating Npr1 (coding for GC-A/NPRA) gene regulation and expression is not well understood. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the mechanism by which Ets-1 [Ets (E twenty-six) transformation-specific sequence] contributes to the regulation of Npr1 gene transcription and expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gel-shift assays confirmed the in vivo and in vitro binding of Ets-1 to the Npr1 promoter. Overexpression of Ets-1 enhanced significantly Npr1 mRNA levels, protein expression, GC activity and ANP-stimulated intracellular accumulation of cGMP in transfected cells. Depletion of endogenous Ets-1 by siRNA (small interfering RNA) dramatically decreased promoter activity by 80%. Moreover, methylation of the Npr1 promoter region (-356 to +55) reduced significantly the promoter activity and hypermethylation around the Ets-1 binding sites directly reduced Ets-1 binding to the Npr1 promoter. Collectively, the present study demonstrates that Npr1 gene transcription and GC activity of the receptor are critically controlled by Ets-1 in target cells.

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