Tissue-specific and androgen-repressible regulation of the rat dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase gene promoter

Chung S. Song, Myeong H. Jung, Sang C. Kim, Tina Hassan, Arun K. Roy, Bandana Chatterjee

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59 Scopus citations


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase (Std) catalyzes sulfonation of androgenic steroids and certain aromatic procarcinogens. In rats, this enzyme is selectively expressed in the liver, and its expression is strongly repressed by androgens. DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift analyses revealed two hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 (HNF1), three CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), and one consensus palindromic thyroid hormone response elements within the first 215 base pairs (bp) of the promoter sequence of rat Std. This promoter is normally inactive in fibroblast-derived NIH 3T3 cells. However, overexpression of HNF1 and C/EBP resulted in synergistic activation of the Std promoter in this cell type, indicating essential roles of these two trans-regulators in liver-selective expression of the rat Std gene. On the other hand, point mutations at any one of five cis elements proximal to the -215 bp region markedly reduced reporter gene expression, suggesting that all of these sites are important for overall promoter function. Androgenic repression of the Std gene in rat liver can be recapitulated in androgen receptor (AR)-negative HepG2 hepatoma cells after cotransfection with an AR expression plasmid. Functional assay of a nested set of 5'-deleted promoters mapped the negative androgen response region between positions -235 and -310. Antibody supershift and oligonucleotide competition identified three OCT-1 and two C/EBP elements between bp -231 and -292. An additional OCT-1 site was found to overlap with a C/EBP element at the -262/-252 position. Mutational inactivation of any one of five cis elements within the -231/-292 region abolished negative androgen response. However, none of these cis elements showed DNase I protection by recombinant AR in footprinting assay, suggesting the absence of a direct AR-DNA interaction. Thus, these studies on rat Std promoter function indicate that (i) HNF1 and C/EBP are responsible for liver specificity of the rat Std gene; (ii) androgenic repression of the gene requires the presence of all of the OCT-1 and C/EBP elements between positions -231 and -292; and (iii) AR may exert its negative regulatory effect indirectly through transcriptional interference of OCT-1 and C/EBP rather than through a direct DNA-AR interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21856-21866
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 21 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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