We have examined the ability of estrogen receptor (ER) to bind and bend DNA fragments containing the Xenopus laevis vitellogenin A2 estrogen response element (ERE), which contains a palindromic, consensus ERE sequence, the X. laevis vitellogenin B1 ERE2, which contains a 1-bp mismatch in the 5'-end of the half-palindrome, and the human pS2 ERE, which contains a 1-bp mismatch in the 3'-end of the half-palindrome. ER binding induced a 65° bend in DNA fragments containing the consensus ERE, the vitellogenin B1 ERE2, or the pS2 ERE. However, ER affinity for the consensus ERE was 2-fold greater than for either the vitellogenin B1 ERE2 or the pS2 ERE. When Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were transfected with reporter plasmids containing either the consensus ERE, the vitellogenin B1 ERE2, or the pS2 ERE separated from the TATA sequence by 2.6 helical turns, exposure to 10 nM 17β-estradiol increased transcription 12.7-, 2.4-, and 3.8-fold, respectively. Increasing the spacing between the ERE and TATA sequence to three helical turns decreased the ability of the consensus ERE to activate transcription by 55% and increased the ability of the pS2 ERE to activate transcription by 35% but had no significant effect on vitellogenin B1 ERE2 activity. Further increasing the distance between the ERE and TATA sequence to 3.6 helical turns restored the activity of promoters containing the consensus ERE and pS2 ERE but decreased the activity of the promoter containing the relatively weak vitellogenin B1 ERE2. These data support the idea that 1) the affinity of ER for the ERE, 2) the location of an ERE within the promoter, and 3) the magnitude and orientation of DNA bends induced by binding of ER or other proteins are important in transcription activation of estrogen-responsive genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology