vgf is a neurotrophin response-specific, developmentally regulated gene that codes for a neurosecretory polypeptide. Its transcription in neuronal cells is selectively activated by the neurotrophins nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neurotrophin 3, which induce survival and differentiation, and not by epidermal growth factor. We studied a short region of the rat vgf promoter which is essential for its regulated expression. A cyclic AMP response element (CRE) within this region is necessary for NGF induction of vgf transcription. Two sites upstream of CRE, an E box and a CCAAT sequence, bind nuclear protein complexes and are involved in transcriptional control. The E box has a dual role. It acts as an inhibitor in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, together with a second E box located downstream, and as a stimulator in the NGF-responsive cell line PC12. By expression screening, we have isolated the cDNA for a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, a homolog of the HTF4/HEB E protein, that specifically binds the vgf promoter E box. The E protein was present in various cell lines, including PC12 cells, and was a component of a multiprotein nuclear complex that hinds the promoter in vitro. The E box and CRE cooperate in binding to this complex, which may be an important determinant for neural cell-specific expression.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology