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Critical role for transcription factor C/EBP-beta in regulating the expression of death-associated protein kinase 1.

Gade P., Roy S.K., Li H., Nallar S.C., Kalvakolanu D.V.

Transcription factor C/EBP-beta regulates a number of physiological responses. During an investigation of the growth-suppressive effects of interferons (IFNs), we noticed that cebpb(-/-) cells fail to undergo apoptosis upon gamma IFN (IFN-gamma) treatment, compared to wild-type controls. To examine the basis for this response, we have performed gene expression profiling of isogenic wild-type and cebpb(-/-) bone marrow macrophages and identified a number of IFN-gamma-regulated genes that are dependent on C/EBP-beta for their expression. These genes are distinct from those regulated by the JAK-STAT pathways. Genes identified in this screen appear to participate in various cellular pathways. Thus, we identify a new pathway through which the IFNs exert their effects on cellular genes through C/EBP-beta. One of these genes is death-associated protein kinase 1 (dapk1). DAPK1 is critical for regulating the cell cycle, apoptosis, and metastasis. Using site-directed mutagenesis, RNA interference, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we show that C/EBP-beta binds to the promoter of dapk1 and is required for the regulation of dapk1. Both mouse dapk1 and human dapk1 exhibited similar dependences on C/EBP-beta for their expression. The expression of the other members of the DAPK family occurred independently of C/EBP-beta. Members of the C/EBP family of transcription factors other than C/EBP-beta did not significantly affect dapk1 expression. We identified two elements in this promoter that respond to C/EBP-beta. One of these is a consensus C/EBP-beta-binding site that constitutively binds to C/EBP-beta. The other element exhibits homology to the cyclic AMP response element/activating transcription factor binding sites. C/EBP-beta binds to this site in an IFN-gamma-dependent manner. Inhibition of ERK1/2 or mutation of an ERK1/2 site in the C/EBP-beta protein suppressed the IFN-gamma-induced response of this promoter. Together, our data show a critical role for C/EBP-beta in a novel IFN-induced cell growth-suppressive pathway via DAPK1.

Mol. Cell. Biol. 28:2528-2548(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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