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Mol Endocrinol. 1994 Jun;8(6):693-703.

Characterization of the proximal estrogen-responsive element of human cathepsin D gene.

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Unité Hormones et Cancer (U 148) INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Montpellier, France.


Cathepsin D, a lysosomal proteinase, is induced by estrogens in mammary cancer cells where its concentration is correlated with a higher risk of metastasis. Its gene expression is stimulated by estrogens in MCF7 cells, and we have shown that a short proximal promoter fragment from -365 to -122 is required for this induction. We now characterize, at -261, a nonconsensus estrogen-responsive element (ERE) (E2) with two differences in the distal half of its palindrome, which confers estradiol responsiveness to the heterologous Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase promoter in transient transfection experiments. This ERE is located in a 21-base pair sequence: 5'GGGCCGGGCTGACCCCGC GGG3', containing a GC-rich region in its 3'-part, which is almost perfectly repeated at -362 (the E1 site). The E2 site was necessary but not sufficient to mediate an estrogen response and required cooperation with the homologous E1 element and/or with general transcription sites located downstream. In vitro, the E2 site but not the E1 site was protected by estrogen receptor (ER) against DNAse I digestion, and gel shift experiments suggested an interaction with the ER as a dimer. Moreover, we showed in vivo that ER DNA binding domain was required to mediate estrogen induction from the cathepsin D ERE. We conclude that estradiol induction of cathepsin D is mediated by interaction of the ER with a nonconsensus ERE that requires synergy with other elements located upstream and/or downstream of this central ERE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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