Differential regulation of respiratory chain subunits by a CREB-dependent signal transduction pathway. Role of cyclic AMP in cytochrome c and COXIV gene expression

L. Gopalakrishnan, R. C. Scarpulla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

In vertebrate organisms, the molecular mechanisms by which extracellular signals regulate mitochondrial function and biogenesis are largely unknown. We have previously identified multiple cis-acting elements in both cytochrome c and cytochrome oxidase subunit IV (COXIV) genes that are likely targets for the regulated expression of respiratory chain components. We now demonstrate that cytochrome c but not COXIV mRNA is induced by cAMP through a mechanism involving transcriptional activation. Maximal induction occurs within 3 h and does not require de novo protein synthesis. The differential response of these genes is mediated by two distinct cAMP response elements (CREs) in the cytochrome c promoter region. Both elements function independently to drive cAMP-dependent expression from a heterologous promoter and within the proper cytochrome c promoter context. In addition, the binding properties of both elements to nuclear factors were characterized by competition DNase I footprinting, methylation interference footprinting, site-directed mutagenesis, and UV-induced DNA-protein cross-linking. The results are all consistent with the specific recognition of both CREs by CRE binding protein (CREB). A highly purified preparation of recombinant CREB formed a specific complex with each of the cytochrome c CREs identical to that formed with a crude nuclear fraction. In addition, the trans-activation of cytochrome c gene expression by recombinant CREB and protein kinase A in transfected cells was completely dependent on functional CREs within the promoter. These results establish that respiratory chain gene expression can be regulated directly by cAMP through a CREB-dependent signal transduction pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume269
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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