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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2010 Jul;30(7):1423-9. Epub 2010 Apr

Repressors NFI and NFY participate in organ-specific regulation of von Willebrand factor promoter activity in transgenic mice.

Aird, WC; Ballermann, BJ; Jahroudi, N.; Kulak, S; Liu, J; Nassiri, M; Uwiera, RR

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AL, Canada.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of repressors in cell type and organ-specific activation of von Willebrand factor (VWF) promoter sequences -487 to 247 in vivo. METHODS AND RESULTS: Activation patterns of wild-type and mutant VWF promoters (sequences -487 to 247) containing mutations in repressors nuclear factor-I (NFI)- and nuclear factor Y (NFY)-binding sites were analyzed in transgenic mice. Mutation of the NFI-binding site activated the promoter in heart and lung endothelial cells, whereas mutation of the NFY-binding site activated the promoter in kidney vasculature. Immunofluorescence analyses showed that NFIB was predominant in heart and lung endothelial cells, whereas NFIX was predominantly detected in kidney endothelial cell nuclei. By using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that the distal lung-specific enhancer (containing a YY1 site) of the VWF gene is brought in proximity to the NFI binding site. CONCLUSIONS: The NFI and NFY repressors contribute differentially to organ-specific regulation of the VWF promoter, and the organ-specific action of NFI may reflect its organ-specific isoform distribution. In addition, the lung-specific enhancer region of the endogenous VWF gene may inhibit NFI repressor function through chromatin looping, which can approximate the 2 regions.

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