Gene-specific changes in promoter occupancy by thyroid hormone receptor during frog metamorphosis: Implications for developmental gene regulation

Daniel R. Buchholz, Bindu D. Paul, Yun Bo Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In all vertebrates, thyroid hormones (TH) affect postembryonic development. The role of the TH receptor (TR) in mediating the TH signal is complex as evidenced by divergent phenotypes in mice lacking TH compared with TR knock-out mice. We have proposed a dual function model for TR during development based on studies of frog metamorphosis. Here we examined an important assumption of this dual function model by using the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, namely constitutive TR binding to promoters in vivo. We examined two target genes with TH-response elements (TRE) in their promoters, TRβ itself and TH/bZIP (TH-responsive basic leucine zipper transcription factor). By using an antibody that recognizes both TRα and TRβ, we found that TR binding to the TRβ promoter is indeed constitutive. Most surprisingly, TR binding to the TH/bZIP promoter increases dramatically after TH treatment of premetamorphic tadpoles and during metamorphosis. By using an antibody specific to TRβ, TRβ binding increases at both promoters in response to TH. In vitro biochemical studies showed that TRs bind TH/bZIP TRE with 4-fold lower affinity than to TRβ TRE. Our data show that only high affinity TRβ TRE is occupied by limiting levels of TR during premetamorphosis and that lower affinity TH/bZIP TRE becomes occupied only when overall the TR expression is higher during metamorphosis. These data provide the first in vivo evidence to suggest that one mechanism for tissue- and gene-specific regulation of TR target gene expression is through tissue and developmental stage-dependent regulation of TR levels, likely a critical mechanism for coordinating development in different organs during postembryonic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41222-41228
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume280
Issue number50
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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