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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jun 22;423(1):183-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.05.113. Epub 2012 May 26.

PDX1 regulation of FABP1 and novel target genes in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells.

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Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5208, United States.


The transcription factor pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1) plays an essential role in pancreatic development and in maintaining proper islet function via target gene regulation. Few intestinal PDX1 targets, however, have been described. We sought to define novel PDX1-regulated intestinal genes. Caco-2 human intestinal epithelial cells were engineered to overexpress PDX1 and gene expression profiles relative to control cells were assessed. Expression of 80 genes significantly increased while that of 49 genes significantly decreased more than 4-fold following PDX1 overexpression in differentiated Caco-2 cells. Analysis of the differentially regulated genes with known functional annotations revealed genes encoding transcription factors, growth factors, kinases, digestive glycosidases, nutrient transporters, nutrient binding proteins, and structural components. The gene for fatty acid binding protein 1, liver, FABP1, is repressed by PDX1 in Caco-2 cells. PDX1 overexpression in Caco-2 cells also results in repression of promoter activity driven by the 0.6kb FABP1 promoter. PDX1 regulation of promoter activity is consistent with the decrease in FABP1 RNA abundance resulting from PDX1 overexpression and identifies FABP1 as a candidate PDX1 target. PDX1 repression of FABP1, LCT, and SI suggests a role for PDX1 in patterning anterior intestinal development.

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