C/EBPε directly interacts with the DNA binding domain of c-myb and cooperatively activates transcription of myeloid promoters

Walter Verbeek, Adrian F. Gombart, Alexey M. Chumakov, Carsten Müller, Alan D. Friedman, H. Phillip Koeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


C/EBPε is essential for granulocytic differentiation. We investigated the role of C/EBPε in the transcriptional activation of various myeloid- specific genes. We found that two C/EBPε isoforms, p32 and p30, possessing transcriptional activation domains were coexpressed in myeloid cells. Interestingly, isoform C/EBPε p30 but not p32 was differentially upregulated in NB-4 promyelocytic leukemia cells treated with retinoids. Both isoforms bound specifically to C/EBP sites in myeloid promoters. The kd for C/EBPε binding to the C/EBP site of the neutrophil elastase promoter was 4.2 nmol/L. In transfection assays using the nonhematopoietic cell line, CV-1, the p32 isoform activated promoters from the myeloid-specific mim-1, neutrophil elastase, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor genes by 2.5-, 1.8-, and 1.6-fold, respectively. The p30 isoform lacked significant transcriptional activity, suggesting that other hematopoietic-specific factors were required for its function. Consistent with this prediction, transfections into the hematopoietic cell line Jurkat showed a 9.0- and 2.5- fold activation of the mim-1 promoter by the p32 and p30 isoforms, respectively. The additional 32 NH2-terminal residues made p32 a significantly more potent transcriptional activator than p30. T lymphoblasts (Jurkat cells) and immature myeloid cells (eg, Kcl22 cells) expressed high levels of the c-myb hematopoietic transcription factor. Cotransfection of c- myb with either the p32 or p30 isoform of C/EBPε in CV-1 cells cooperatively transactivated the mim-1 promoter by 20- and 16-fold, respectively, and the neutrophil elastase promoter by 10-and 7-fold, respectively. Pulldown assays showed that each C/EBPε isoform interacted directly with the DNA binding domain of the c-myb protein. Further studies showed that Kcl22 myeloid cells only contained active C/EBPε, but not C/EBPα, C/EBPβ, or C/EBPδ. A mutation of the C/EBP site in the neutrophil elastase promoter markedly decreased the transactivation of the promoter in Kcl22 myeloblasts. These results demonstrate a role for C/EBPε in regulating myeloid promoters, such as neutrophil elastase, probably through a direct interaction with c-myb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3327-3337
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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