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Control of interferon-tau gene expression by Ets-2

Ezashi, T., Ealy, A.D., Ostrowski, M.C., Roberts, R.M.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1998 v.95 no.14 pp. 7882-7887
transcription factors, transcriptional activation, recombinant DNA, humans, immunohistochemistry, sheep, cattle, luciferase, trophoblast, mice, binding sites, reporter genes, promoter regions, interferons
Expression of the multiple interferon-tau (IFN-tau) genes is restricted to embryonic trophectoderm of ruminant ungulate species for a few days in early pregnancy. The promoter regions of these genes are highly conserved. A proximal (bp -91 to -69) sequence has been implicated in controlling trophoblast-specific expression. Here it was used as a target for yeast one-hybrid screening of a day 13 conceptus cDNA library. Two transcription factors of the Ets family, Ets-2 and GABP alpha, were identified, consistent with the observation that active ovine IFN-tau genes contain a single 10-bp Ets motif (core: GGAA) in the proximal segment, whereas three known inactive ovine genes contain a mutated core motif (TGAA). Cotransfection of a promoter- (-126 to +50) luciferase reporter construct from an active gene (bovineIFN-tau 1; boIFNT1) and an Ets-2 expression plasmid in human JAr cells provided up to a 30-fold increase in reporter expression, whereas promoters from inactive genes were not transactivated. GABP alpha alone was ineffective and had only a approximately 2-fold positive effect when coexpressed with its partner GABP beta. Other Ets-related transcription factors, which were not detected in the genetic screen, also provided a range of lesser transactivation effects. Coexpression of Ets-2 and activated Ras failed to transactivate the IFNT promoter greater than Ets-2 alone in JAr cells. The presence of Ets-2 in nuclei of embryonic trophectoderm was confirmed immunocytochemically. Together, these data suggest that Ets-2 plays a role in the transient expression of the nonvirally inducible IFNT genes.