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CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) and AML1 (CBF alpha2) synergistically activate the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor promoter.

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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
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  • Biology

Abstract

Transcription factors play a key role in the development and differentiation of specific lineages from multipotential progenitors. Identification of these regulators and determining the mechanism of how they activate their target genes are important for understanding normal development of monocytes and macrophages and the pathogenesis of a common form of adult acute leukemia, in which the differentiation of monocytic cells is blocked. Our previous work has shown that the monocyte-specific expression of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) receptor is regulated by three transcription factors interacting with critical regions of the M-CSF receptor promoter, including PU.1 and AML1.PU.1 is essential for myeloid cell development, while the AML1 gene is involved in several common leukemia-related chromosome translocations, although its role in hematopoiesis has not been fully identified. Along with AML1, a third factor, Mono A, interacts with a small region of the promoter which can function as a monocyte-specific enhancer when multimerized and linked to a heterologous basal promoter. Here, we demonstrate by electrophoretic mobility shift assays with monocytic nuclear extracts, COS-7 cell-transfected factors, and specific antibodies that the monocyte-enriched factor Mono A is CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP). C/EBP has been shown previously to be an important transcription factor involved in hepatocyte and adipocyte differentiation; in hematopoietic cells, C/EBP is specifically expressed in myeloid cells. In vitro binding analysis reveals a physical interaction between C/EBP and AML1. Further transfection studies show that C/EBP and AML1 in concert with the AML1 heterodimer partner CBF beta synergistically activate M-CSF receptor by more then 60 fold. These results demonstrate that C/EBP and AML1 are important factors for regulating a critical hematopoietic growth factor receptor, the M-CSF receptor, suggesting a mechanism of how the AML1 fusion protein could contribute to acute myeloid leukemia. Furthermore, they demonstrate physical and functional interactions between AML1 and C/EBP transcription factor family members.

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