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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jun;42(10):6158-67. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku243. Epub 2014 May 3.

Engineered zinc-finger transcription factors activate OCT4 (POU5F1), SOX2, KLF4, c-MYC (MYC) and miR302/367.

Author information

1
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Saint Louis, MO 63103, USA.
2
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Saint Louis, MO 63103, USA ckreader@sial.com.

Abstract

Artificial transcription factors are powerful tools for regulating gene expression. Here we report results with engineered zinc-finger transcription factors (ZF-TFs) targeting four protein-coding genes, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC, and one noncoding ribonucleic acid (RNA) gene, the microRNA (miRNA) miR302/367 cluster. We designed over 300 ZF-TFs whose targets lie within 1 kb of the transcriptional start sites (TSSs), screened them for increased messenger RNA or miRNA levels in transfected cells, and identified potent ZF-TF activators for each gene. Furthermore, we demonstrate that selected ZF-TFs function with alternative activation domains and in multiple cell lines. For OCT4, we expanded the target range to -2.5 kb and +500 bp relative to the TSS and identified additional active ZF-TFs, including three highly active ZF-TFs targeting distal enhancer, proximal enhancer and downstream from the proximal promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (FLAG-ChIP) results indicate that several inactive ZF-TFs targeting within the same regulatory region bind as well as the most active ZF-TFs, suggesting that efficient binding within one of these regulatory regions may be necessary but not sufficient for activation. These results further our understanding of ZF-TF design principles and corroborate the use of ZF-TFs targeting enhancers and downstream from the TSS for transcriptional activation.

PMID:
24792165
PMCID:
PMC4041418
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gku243
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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