The human reduced folate carrier gene is regulated by the AP2 and Sp1 transcription factor families and a functional 61-base pair polymorphism

Johnathan R. Whetstine, Teah L. Witt, Larry H. Matherly

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58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, our laboratory reported an intricate regulation of the human reduced folate carrier (hRFC) gene, involving multiple promoters and noncoding exons. We localized promoter activity to a 452-bp GC-rich region upstream of noncoding exon A, including a 47-bp basal promoter with a CRE/AP-1-like consensus element that bound the bZip family of DNA-binding proteins (e.g. CREB-1 and c-Jun). We now report that three nearly identical tandem repeats (49-61 bp) in the hRFC-A upstream region are involved in regulating promoter activity. By in vitro binding assays, multiple transcription factors (e.g. AP2 and Sp1/Sp3) bound this region. When AP2 was cotransfected with the hRFC-A reporter construct into HT1080 cells, promoter activity increased 3-fold. In Drosophila SL2 cells, Sp1 transactivated promoter A and showed synergism with CREB-1. However, c-Jun was antagonistic to the effects of Sp1. A sequence variant in the hRFC-A repeated region was identified, involving an exact duplication of a 61-bp sequence. This variant had an allelic frequency of 78% in 72 genomic DNAs and resulted in a 63% increase in promoter activity. These results identify important regions in the hRFC-A promoter and critical roles for AP2 and Sp1, in combination with the bZip transcription factors. Moreover, they document a functionally novel polymorphism that increases promoter activity and may contribute to interpatient variations in hRFC expression and effects on tissue folate homeostasis and antitumor response to antifolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43873-43880
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

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