Previous studies indicated a high affinity of the transcription factor Sp1 for DNA adducts derived from benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE) in sequences that are not normal binding sites for Sp1. We tested for functional effects of this phenomenon in three systems in which transcription is Sp1-dependent. In an in vitro, Sp1-dependent transcription system addition of heterologous plasmid DNA containing BPDE adducts abolished production of a specific run-off transcript. This inhibition was not seen with unmodified plasmid DNA, and could be overcome by addition of purified Sp1 protein. In SL2 insect cells, high-level expression of an Sp1-dependent reporter gene, which was dependent on co-transfection of an Sp1 expression vector, was inhibited > 95% by co-transfection of heterologous DNA containing BPDE adducts. This inhibition could be partially overcome by increasing the amount of the Sp1 expression vector in the transfections. In human C33A cells, expression of a transfected reporter gene driven by a GC box containing fragment of the human E2F1 promoter was enhanced by co-transfection of an Sp1 expression plasmid. Expression was inhibited 3-6-fold by co-transfection of heterologous DNA containing BPDE-DNA adducts. A similar inhibition was seen in human SAOS-2 cells, which lack functional p53 protein. These data are consistent with functionally significant sequestration of the Sp1 transcription factor by BPDE-DNA adducts in all three systems. Altered availability of transcription factors such as Sp1 in carcinogen-treated cells may disrupt patterns of gene expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research