Participation of SRE4, an URE1 Enhancer Core Sequence, in the Sterol-Mediated Transcriptional Upregulation of the Human Apolipoprotein E Gene

  • Min, Jung-Hwa (Department of Biochemistry and Bioproducts Research Center, Yonsei University) ;
  • Paik, Young-Ki (Department of Biochemistry and Bioproducts Research Center, Yonsei University)
  • Received : 1998.06.02
  • Accepted : 1998.08.12
  • Published : 1998.11.30


The expression of the endogenous human apolipoprotein(apo)E gene was significantly induced when HepG2 cells were treated with exogenous 25-hydroxy-cholesterol. This sterol-mediated apoE gene upregulation appears to require the participation of a positive element for the apoE gene transcription (PET) ( -169/ -140), a core sequence of upstream regulatory element (URE)1 enhancer of the human apoE gene. This PET was renamed as sterol regulatory element (SRE)4 based on its new role as a sensor for the level of intracellular sterol. Furthermore, a gel mobility shift analysis showed that binding activity of the SRE4 binding protein (BP) obtained from HepG2 cells was induced by sterol treatment, while that from either MCF7 or BT20 cells remained unchanged. Binding activity of SRE4BP was also induced in mouse macrophage cells, J774A.1, by sterol treatment, but it was drastically reduced when cells were subjected to treatment of AY-9944, a potent inhibitor for sterol synthesis. However, binding activity of Spl, which is a co-binding protein to the SRE4 region, remained the same in either condition, suggesting that SRE4BP (formally known as PETBP) may be mainly responsible for the sterol-mediated regulation of the apoE gene expression. Deletion analysis of the core binding site of SRE4BP by gel mobility shift assays showed that the minimal sequence of the SRE4BP binding appears to reside between -157 and -140, confirming the identity of SRE4 with the previously determined core sequence of URE1.