A 42-base pair sequence from the 5' flanking region of the low density lipoprotein receptor gene was shown previously to confer sensitivity to sterol-mediated repression when inserted into the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase promoter. This sequence contains two contiguous 16-base pair repeats, designated repeats 2 and 3, which differ from each other at four positions. In the current study we have analyzed separately the functions of repeats 2 and 3 by altering their sequences, inserting them into the -60 position of the thymidine kinase promoter, and introducing the hybrid promoters into hamster cells by transfection. These studies show that repeat 3 is a constitutive positive transcriptional element that acts in the absence or presence of sterols. Repeat 2 confers strong repression upon repeat 3 when sterols are present. In vitro DNase footprinting and gel retardation assays show that repeat 3, but not repeat 2, binds purified Sp1, a positive transcription factor. Mutants of repeat 3 that abolish transcriptional activity in vivo abolish Sp1 binding in vitro. We suggest that the low density lipoprotein receptor is regulated by a push-pull mechanism in which sterol-regulated binding of a protein to repeat 2 silences the activity of the adjacent Sp1-binding site in repeat 3.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas