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J Endocrinol. 2009 Mar;200(3):311-9. doi: 10.1677/JOE-08-0094. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Estrogen-dependent downregulation of hairy and enhancer of split homolog-1 gene expression in breast cancer cells is mediated via a 3' distal element.

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Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.


Regulation of hairy and enhancer of split homologue-1 (HES-1) by estradiol and all-trans retinoic acid affects proliferation of human breast cancer cells. Here, we identify and characterize cis-regulatory elements involved in HES-1 regulation. In the distal 5' promoter of the HES-1 gene, we found a retinoic acid response element and in the distal 3' region, an estrogen receptor alpha(ER)alpha binding site. The ERalpha binding site, composed of an estrogen response element (ERE) and an ERE half-site, is important for both ERalpha binding and transcriptional regulation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that ERalpha is recruited to the ERE and associates with the HES-1 promoter. We also show recruitment of nuclear receptor co-regulators to the ERE in response to estradiol, followed by a decrease in histone acetylation and RNA polymerase II docking in the HES-1 promoter region. Our findings are consistent with a novel type of repressive estrogen response element in the distal 3' region of the HES-1 gene.

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