The repressor element 1 (RE1) silencing transcription factor (REST) helps preserve the identity of nervous tissue by silencing neuronal genes in non-neural tissues. Moreover, in an epithelial model of tumorigenesis, loss of REST function is associated with loss of adhesion, suggesting the aberrant expression of REST-controlled genes encoding this property. To date, no adhesion molecules under REST control have been identified. Here, we used serial analysis of chromatin occupancy to perform genome-wide identification of REST-occupied target sequences (RE1 sites) in a kidney cell line. We discovered novel REST-binding motifs and found that the number of RE1 sites far exceeded previous estimates. A large family of targets encoding adhesion proteins was identified, as were genes encoding signature proteins of neuroendocrine tumors. Unexpectedly, genes considered exclusively non-neuronal also contained an RE1 motif and were expressed in neurons. This supports the model that REST binding is a critical determinant of neuronal phenotype.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes