Intronic hormone response elements mediate regulation of FKBP5 by progestins and glucocorticoids

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Expression of FKBP51, a large molecular weight immunophilin, is strongly enhanced by glucocorticoids, progestins, and androgens. However, the activity of a 3.4-kb fragment of the FKBP51 gene (FKBP5) promoter was only weakly increased by progestin and we show here that it is unresponsive to glucocorticoids and androgens. The entire FKBP5 was scanned for consensus hormone response elements (HREs) using MatInspector. We found that 2 regions of intron E, which are conserved in rat and mouse FKBP5, contain HRE-like sequences with high match scores. Deoxyribonucleic acid fragments (approximately 1 kb in length) containing these regions were amplified and tested in reporter gene assays for steroid responsiveness. One region of intron E of FKBP5 (pIE2) conferred both glucocorticoid and progestin responsiveness to 2 heterologous reporter genes, whereas the other, less-conserved region of intron E (pIE1) was responsive only to progestins. The inclusion of pIE1 upstream of pIE2 (pIE1IE2) enhanced progestin but not glucocorticoid responsiveness. None of the constructs containing intronic sequences was responsive to androgens. Mutation of the putative HREs within pIE1 and pIE2 eliminated hormone responsiveness. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that progesterone receptors (PR) bound to the HRE in pIE1, whereas both PR and glucocorticoid receptors interacted with the HRE in pIE2. These data suggest that distal intronic elements significantly contribute to transcriptional requlation of FKBP5 by glucocorticoids and progestins.

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Cell Stress and Chaperones

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