Studies on the human ALOX5 promoter: Analysis of promoter-interacting proteins by quantitative proteomics and evaluation of secondary DNA structures

  • The enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) occupies a central role in the biosynthesis of inflammatory leukotrienes and thus takes part in the pathogenesis of related diseases. Its occurrence is mainly restricted to cells of the immune system including granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages or B-lymphocytes and can be induced by cell differentiation of myeloid cells after treatment with differentiating agents, such as DMSO, retinoic acid or the combination of TGFβ/1,25(OH)2D3. The latter contribute to the highest level of induction of mRNA and protein expression. Its cell specific occurrence is at least partly due to DNA methylation in cells that do not exhibit 5-LO activity and genetic regulation is further dependent on histone acetylation. 5-LO expression is controlled by transcription factors binding to the promoter sequence of the ALOX5 gene that induce basal promoter activity, as well as promoter independent effects including transcript initiation and elongation, which are mostly attributed to TGFβ/1,25(OH)2D3 signaling. The ALOX5 gene resembles a typical housekeeping gene, hence lacks TATA- or CAAT-boxes for transcriptional regulation, but displays a high GC-content with eight GC-boxes, five of which are arranged in tandem, that provide binding sites for transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Egr-1. The proximal ALOX5 promoter is furthermore a target for additional factors, such as TGFβ effector proteins SMADs or the vitamin D receptor and possesses additional consensus sequences for transcriptional regulators, including NF-κB or PU.1. However, as yet no actual binding of these proteins to the promoter sequence was demonstrated and an unbiased screening for identifying further ALOX5 promoter interacting proteins, which might have impact on 5-LO expression, is still lacking. For this purpose, the present study focused on the identification of significantly interacting proteins, employing DNA-affinity enrichment coupled to label-free quantitative proteomics, spanning a sequence of about 270 base pairs of the proximal ALOX5 promoter. For the elucidation of potential cell specific differences in protein patterns and compositions, DNA pulldowns were performed by using oligonucleotide stretches comprising the core promoter sequence including the 5-fold GC-box, which were incubated with different cell lines and differentiation states of myeloid, as well as B-lymphocytic lineages. In order to compare different mass spectrometric quantification strategies that would allow for identification of interactors, dimethyl labeling and label-free techniques were used. Since the label-free approach outperformed the label-based one in initial experiments, it was established as standard quantification strategy in all DNA pulldowns performed. The pulldowns of myeloid cell lines in both undifferentiated and differentiated state and B-lymphocytes resulted in a cell-unspecific protein pattern whose composition was similar, regardless of cell lineage. Additionally, further DNA sequences comprising either a vitamin D response element or a SMAD binding element were investigated in the promyelocytic model cell line HL-60 in both undifferentiated and differentiated state. The identified proteins confirmed known interaction partners and furthermore revealed novel potential regulators of the 5-LO promoter. Out of these, the most prominently identified and promising proteins included transcription factors of the KLF- and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-family. In this context, KLF5 and KLF13 are both involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes, the former additionally being an effector protein of TGFβ-signaling, whose functional characterization is of utmost interest in terms of regulation of 5-LO expression. Further protein characterization will be inevitable for the CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins C/EBPα, C/EBPβ and C/EBPε. These transcription factors are involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes and heterodimers thereof (C/EBPα/β) are known to control TGFβ/1,25(OH)2D3-mediated effects of the CD14 gene. Several of the identified proteins of the pulldowns containing the tandem GC-box represented interactors of G-quadruplex DNA, including the helicases BLM and DHX36, the ribonucleoproteins hnRNP D and hnRNP K and transcription factor MAZ. Since G-quadruplexes form in G-rich DNA sequences as secondary DNA structures and exhibit substantial regulatory effects on the transcription of their target genes, the potential formation thereof in the ALOX5 core promoter sequence was investigated in a second project. Out of the proteins mentioned above, MAZ is shown to exert resolving effects on G4-DNA and synergistically induce Sp1-dependent gene activation of oncogene h-RAS, which displays analogous promoter characteristics to the ALOX5 gene. A DNA stretch comprising the tandem GC-box was used for elucidating the potential of secondary DNA structure formation. Intriguingly, both immune-based and spectroscopic methods provided clear evidence for the in vitro G-quadruplex formation of the proximal promoter sequence for the first time. In order to provide additional information on a possible regulatory effect of existing G-quadruplex structures on 5-LO transcription, differentiated HL-60 cells were subsequently treated with two distinct G4-DNA stabilizing agents. A porphyrin analogon (TMPyP4) did not exhibit any effects on 5-LO mRNA and protein expression after cell treatment. A second G4-DNA stabilizing agent (pyridostatin) on the other hand revealed significant reduction on 5-LO protein expression after cellular treatment. These mixed results render further experiments inevitable, in order to provide a clear assertion as to whether 5-LO expression is regulated by G-quadruplex structures or not. Altogether, this study enlarges the knowledge of ALOX5 proximal promoter interacting proteins by corroborating the binding of already known transcription factors and identifying novel interactors. It yields essential groundwork for subsequent functional studies of proteins involved in 5-LO transcription and introduces G-quadruplexes as a new potential mechanism in ALOX5 gene regulation.

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Author:Katharina Schlag
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Michael KarasGND, Dieter SteinhilberORCiDGND
Advisor:Michael Karas
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2020/06/01
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2020/05/29
Release Date:2020/06/03
Page Number:172
Institutes:Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 54 Chemie / 540 Chemie und zugeordnete Wissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht