Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Jan 25;11(1):e0147886. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147886. eCollection 2016.

Sp1 and Sp3 Are the Transcription Activators of Human ek1 Promoter in TSA-Treated Human Colon Carcinoma Cells.

Author information

School of Health Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.



Ethanolamine kinase (EK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of ethanolamine, the first step in the CDP-ethanolamine pathway for the biosynthesis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). Human EK exists as EK1, EK2α and EK2β isoforms, encoded by two separate genes, named ek1 and ek2. EK activity is stimulated by carcinogens and oncogenes, suggesting the involvement of EK in carcinogenesis. Currently, little is known about EK transcriptional regulation by endogenous or exogenous signals, and the ek gene promoter has never been studied.


In this report, we mapped the important regulatory regions in the human ek1 promoter. 5' deletion analysis and site-directed mutagenesis identified a Sp site at position (-40/-31) that was essential for the basal transcription of this gene. Treatment of HCT116 cells with trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, significantly upregulated the ek1 promoter activity through the Sp(-40/-31) site and increased the endogenous expression of ek1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that TSA increased the binding of Sp1, Sp3 and RNA polymerase II to the ek1 promoter in HCT116 cells. The effect of TSA on ek1 promoter activity was cell-line specific as TSA treatment did not affect ek1 promoter activity in HepG2 cells.


In conclusion, we showed that Sp1 and Sp3 are not only essential for the basal transcription of the ek1 gene, their accessibility to the target site on the ek1 promoter is regulated by histone protein modification in a cell line dependent manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center