Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) in coordination with retinoic acid receptors increases all-trans-retinoic acid-dependent CYP26A1 gene expression in HepG2 human hepatocytes

Reza Zolfaghari, A. Catharine Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

CYP26A1 expression is very highly induced by retinoic acid (RA) in the liver, compared to most other tissues, suggesting that a liver-enriched factor may be required for its physiological transcriptional response. HNF4α is a highly conserved liver-specific/enriched member of nuclear receptor superfamily. In this study, we hypothesized that HNF4α and RARs may cooperate in an RA-dependent manner to induce a high level of CYP26A1 expression in liver cells. Partial inhibition of endogenous HNF4α by siRNA reduced the level of RA-induced CYP26A1 mRNA in HepG2 cells. Cotransfection of HNF4α, with or without RARs, demonstrated RA-dependent activation of a human CYP26A1 promoter-luciferase construct. Analysis of a 2.5-kbp putative CYP26A1 promoter sequence identified five potential HNF4α DNA response elements: H1 located in a proximal region overlapping with an RAR element-1 (RARE1 or R1); H2 and H3 in the distal region, close to RARE2 (R2) and RARE3 (R3); and H4 and H5 in intermediary regions. In EMSA and ChIP analyses HNF4α and RARs binding in the proximal and distal CYP26A1 promoter regions was significantly higher in RA-treated cells. Mutational analysis of the individual HNF4α DNA-response elements identified H1 as the major site for HNF4α binding because mutation of H1 inhibited the promoter activity by ~90%, followed by H2 mutation with less than 40% inhibition. Our results indicate that HNF4α coordinates with RARs in an RA-dependent manner to strongly induce CYP26A1 gene expression in the liver, which may explain the high level of response to RA observed in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1740-1751
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cellular biochemistry
Volume115
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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