Preadipocyte factor-1 (Pref-1) was shown to negatively regulate adipocyte differentiation. We recently reported that ZOG, a rat homolog of Pref-1, was specifically expressed in the adrenal zona glomerulosa. Results of the investigation of Pref-1 expression in preadipocyte and in undifferentiated adrenal cortex suggested that down-regulation of Pref-1 gene was closely correlated with the differentiation process. In this study we demonstrate that an upstream region (from -76 to -47) of the rat Pref-1 gene was essential for its expression in adrenocortical carcinoma-derived H295R cells. A nucleotide sequence found in this region, GCGTGGGCGTGGGCGGGGG (Egr/GC-box), seemed to contain three elements, two early growth response (Egr) elements and one GC-box, overlapping each other. Mutations of four or five nucleotides in a 7-nucleotides-stretch in the midst of the Egr/GC-box eliminated the binding of Sp1/3, abolished the activation by Egr-factor(s) and diminished the Pref-1 promoter activity. When mutations were introduced into the outside of the middle portion, the binding of Sp1/3 to the Egr/GC-box was abolished similarly. However, the decrease in the promoter activity was less than that found with the construct mutated at the middle. These results indicated that an element present at the 7-nucleotides-stretch in the midst of the Egr/GC-box might be important for the Pref-1 promoter activity, and this proximal element was possibly activated by a still-unidentified nuclear factor(s). This element would function as the promoter of the Pref-1 gene in H295R cells, but not in HeLa cells.
- Adrenal gland
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