Retina-derived POU domain factor 1 coordinates expression of genes relevant to renal and neuronal development

Antonio Fiorino, Giacomo Manenti, Beatrice Gamba, Gabriele Bucci, Loris De Cecco, Michele Sardella, Giacomo Buscemi, Sara Ciceri, Maria T. Radice, Paolo Radice, Daniela Perotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Retina-derived POU domain Factor 1 (RPF-1), a member of POU transcription factor family, is encoded by POU6F2 gene, addressed by interstitial deletions at chromosome 7p14 in Wilms tumor (WT). Its expression has been detected in developing kidney and nervous system, suggesting an early role for this gene in regulating development of these organs. To investigate into its functions and determine its role in transcriptional regulation, we generated an inducible stable transfectant from HEK293 cells. RPF-1 showed nuclear localization, elevated stability, and transactivation of promoters featuring POU consensus sites, and led to reduced cell proliferation and in vivo tumor growth. By addressing the whole transcriptome regulated by its induction, we could detect a gross alteration of gene expression that is consistent with promoter occupancy predicted by genome-wide Chip-chip analysis. Comparison of bound regulatory regions with differentially expressed genes allowed identification of 217 candidate targets. Enrichment of divergent octamers in predicted regulatory regions revealed promiscuous binding to bipartite POUS and POUH consensus half-sites with intervening spacers. Gel-shift competition assay confirmed the specificity of RPF-1 binding to consensus motifs, and demonstrated that the Ser-rich region upstream of the POU domain is indispensable to achieve DNA-binding. Promoter-reporter activity addressing a few target genes indicated a dependence by RPF-1 on transcriptional response. In agreement with its expression in developing kidney and nervous system, the induced transcriptome appears to indicate a function for this protein in early renal differentiation and neuronal cell fate, providing a resource for understanding its role in the processes thereby regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChiP)
  • Developmental factor
  • DNA binding protein
  • Gene expression
  • POU transcription factor
  • Wilms tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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