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J Lipid Res. 1997 Aug;38(8):1630-8.

Sterol regulation of acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase promoter requires two interdependent binding sites for sterol regulatory element binding proteins.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine 92697-3900, USA.


The sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) are central regulators of lipid homeostasis in mammalian cells. Their activity is controlled by a sterol-regulated two-step proteolytic process that releases the nuclear targeted amino-terminal domain from the membrane anchored carboxyl-terminal remnant. This ensures that transcriptional stimulation of the appropriate genes occurs only when increased intracellular sterol accumulation is required. Gene targets for SREBP encode key proteins of cholesterol metabolism as well as essential proteins of fatty acid biosynthesis, providing a mechanism for coordinate control of these two major lipid pathways when sterols and fatty acids need to accumulate together. However, the regulatory mechanism must provide a way to uncouple these two pathways to allow separate regulation when sterol or fat levels need to increase independently of each other. We compared the similarities and differences for how SREBP activates the promoter for the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which is the key protein involved in cholesterol uptake, relative to how it activates promoters for acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS), which are both key enzymes of fatty acid biosynthesis. In the current studies we show there are two distinct sites for SREBP binding that control activation of the ACC PII promoter whereas previous work has shown there is only a single SREBP site in the LDL receptor. Additionally, disruption of either ACC site results in a total loss in promoter function and a severe decrease in SREBP binding even to the neighboring unaltered site. Thus, the two sites are equally important and dependent on one another for optimal function. This is in contrast to the FAS promoter where SREBP binds to two adjacent sites independently and the one located closer to the binding site for the Sp1 co-regulator is more critical for sterol regulation and activation by SREBP over-expression.

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