Transcription factors DNA-binding activity in rat thymocytes undergoing apoptosis after heat-shock or dexamethasone treatment

E. Sikora, E. Grassilli, E. Radziszewska, E. Bellesia, D. Barbieri, C. Franceschi

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The onset of apoptosis is generally thought to require the induction of a novel genetic program. Accordingly, we studied the kinetic of DNA-binding activity of several transcription factors in rat thymocytes undergoing apoptosis induced by dexamethasone (DEX) or heat shock (HS) treatment. Here we report that: 1) early activation of AP-1 occurred in both models of apoptosis, even if the intensity of activation and AP-1 complex composition were different and much less evident in HS-treated thymocytes; 2) early NFkB DNA-binding activity was also observed in both types of apoptosis; 3) downregulation of other transcription factors, such as OCT-1 and CREB, with high constitutive activity, was recorded in both models of apoptosis. The fact that some TFs are up-regulated while others are down-regulated suggests that apoptosis is the result of a complex combination of positive and negative signals regulating gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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