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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jun 20;92(13):6102-6.

Domains of transcription factor Sp1 required for synergistic activation with sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 of low density lipoprotein receptor promoter.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine 92717-3900, USA.


Feedback regulation of transcription from the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene is fundamentally important in the maintenance of intracellular sterol balance. The region of the LDL receptor promoter responsible for normal sterol regulation contains adjacent binding sites for the ubiquitous transcription factor Sp1 and the cholesterol-sensitive sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs). Interestingly, both are essential for normal sterolmediated regulation of the promoter. The cooperation by Sp1 and SREBP-1 occurs at two steps in the activation process. SREBP-1 stimulates the binding of Sp1 to its adjacent recognition site in the promoter followed by enhanced stimulation of transcription after both proteins are bound to DNA. In the present report, we have defined the protein domains of Sp1 that are required for both synergistic DNA binding and transcriptional activation. The major activation domains of Sp1 that have previously been shown to be essential to activation of promoters containing multiple Sp1 sites are required for activation of the LDL receptor promoter. Additionally, the C domain is also crucial. This slightly acidic approximately 120-amino acid region is not required for efficient synergistic activation by multiple Sp1 sites or in combination with other recently characterized transcriptional regulators. We also show that Sp1 domain C is essential for full, enhanced DNA binding by SREBP-1. Taken together with other recent studies on the role of Sp1 in promoter activation, the current experiments suggest a unique combinatorial mechanism for promoter activation by two distinct transcription factors that are both essential to intracellular cholesterol homeostasis.

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