Transcriptional repression and DNA looping associated with a novel regulatory element in the final exon of the lymphotoxin-β gene.
Wicks K., Knight JC.
Transcriptional regulation has a critical role in the coordinate and context-specific expression of a cluster of genes encoding members of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily found at chromosome 6p21, comprising TNF, LTA (encoding lymphotoxin-α) and LTB (encoding lymphotoxin-β). This is important, as dysregulated expression of these genes is implicated in susceptibility to many autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases. We describe here a novel regulatory element in the fourth exon of LTB, which is highly conserved, localises to the only CpG island in the locus, and is associated with a DNase I hypersensitive site and specific histone modifications. We find evidence of binding by Yin Yang 1 (YY1), cyclic AMP response element (CRE)-binding protein (CREB) and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) to this region in Jurkat T cells, which is associated with transcriptional repression on reporter gene analysis. Chromatin conformation capture experiments show evidence of DNA looping, involving interaction of this element with the LTB promoter, LTA promoter and TNF 3' untranslated region (UTR). Small interfering RNA (siRNA) experiments demonstrate a functional role for YY1 and CREB in LTB expression. Our findings provide evidence of additional complexity in the transcriptional regulation of LTB with implications for coordinate expression of genes in this important genomic locus.