Forskolin inducibility and tissue-specific expression of the fibronectin promoter

D C Dean, M S Blakeley, R F Newby, P Ghazal, L Hennighausen, S Bourgeois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanism of cyclic AMP (cAMP) induction of fibronectin (FN) in HT-1080 and JEG-3 cells differs (D. C. Dean, R. F. Newby, and S. Bourgeois, J. Cell Biol. 106:2159-2170, 1988). In the fibrosarcoma cell line HT-1080, induction requires both protein synthesis and a lag period of 12 to 24 h. In the choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3, protein synthesis is not required and induction peaks before 24 h, declining thereafter. We show that the FN promoter is transcribed in vitro and that the transcripts initiate at the proper site. Based on transfection experiments with these cells and FN promoter constructions, a cAMP-responsive element (CRE) was identified between -157 and -188 base pairs upstream of the human FN gene. This sequence also conferred cAMP inducibility in both cell lines on the herpesvirus thymidine kinase promoter when it was placed upstream of a thymidine kinase-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase fusion gene. DNase I protection analysis and gel retardation experiments revealed that the CRE was bound by a protein(s) that was present in both HT-1080 and JEG-3 cells as well as in NIH 3T3 cells. Multiple protein-CRE complexes were resolved by gel retardation with extracts of both cell lines. Forskolin treatment of these cells did not alter qualitatively or quantitatively the pattern of CRE-binding proteins that was observed. The FN promoter was at least 10 times more active in HT-1080 than in JEG-3 cells, even though in JEG-3 cells both the rate of FN biosynthesis and the level of accumulated FN mRNA were greater than those in HT-1080 cells. The difference in promoter activity in HT-1080 and JEG-3 cell was mediated by sequences that were located between positions -510 and -56. Deletion of the FN promoter from positions -510 to -56 resulted in an ~30-fold decrease in promoter activity when this construction was transfected into HT-1080 cells, and similar results were observed in NIH 3T3 cells; however, less than a 2-fold effect was observed in JEG-3 cells. Results of these studies suggest that there is some degree of tissue specificity of FN gene expression and reveal that cAMP induction is mediated, in part, by the same element (CRE) in both HT-1080 and JEG-3 cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-506
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cyclic AMP
  • DNA
  • Fibronectins
  • Forskolin
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


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