GATA factors and androgen receptor collaborate to transcriptionally activate the Rhox5 homeobox gene in sertoli cells

Anjana Bhardwaj, Manjeet K. Rao, Ramneet Kaur, Miriam R. Buttigieg, Miles F. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

How Sertoli-specific expression is initiated is poorly understood. Here, we address this issue using the proximal promoter (Pp) from the Rhox5 homeobox gene. Its Sertoli cell-specific expression is achieved, in part, through a negative regulatory element that inhibits Pp transcription in non-Sertoli cell lines. Complementing this negative regulation is positive regulation conferred by four androgen-response elements (AREs) that interact with the androgen receptor (AR), a nuclear hormone receptor expressed at high levels in Sertoli cells. A third control mechanism is provided by a consensus GATA-binding site that is crucial for Pp transcription both in vitro and in vivo. Several lines of evidence suggested that GATA factors and AR act cooperatively to activate Pp transcription: (i) the GATA-binding site crucial for Pp transcription is in close proximity to two of the AREs, (ii) GATA and AR form a complex with the Pp in vitro, (iii) overexpression of GATA factors rescued expression from mutant Pp constructs harboring defective AREs, and (iv) incubation of a Sertoli cell line with testosterone triggered corecruitment of AR and GATA4 to the Pp. Collectively, our results suggest that the Rhox5 gene achieves Sertoli cell-specific transcription using a combinatorial strategy involving negative and cooperative positive regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2138-2153
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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