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C/EBPβ Induces Chromatin Opening at a Cell-Type-Specific Enhancer▿

By Annette Plachetka, Olesya Chayka, Carola Wilczek, Svitlana Melnik, Constanze Bonifer and Karl-Heinz Klempnauer


We have used the chicken mim-1 gene as a model to study the mechanisms by which transcription factors gain initial access to their target sites in compacted chromatin. The expression of mim-1 is restricted to the myelomonocytic lineage of the hematopoietic system where it is regulated synergistically by the Myb and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) factors. Myb and C/EBPβ cooperate at two distinct cis elements of mim-1, the promoter and a cell-type-specific enhancer, both of which are associated with DNase I hypersensitive sites in myelomonocytic cells but not in mim-1-nonexpressing cells. Previous work has shown that ectopic expression of Myb and C/EBPβ activates the endogenous mim-1 gene in a nonhematopoietic cell type (fibroblasts), where the gene is normally completely silent. Here, we investigated the molecular details of this finding and show that the activation of mim-1 occurs by two independent mechanisms. In the absence of Myb, C/EBPβ triggers the initial steps of chromatin opening at the mim-1 enhancer without inducing transcription of the gene. mim-1 transcription occurs only in the presence of Myb and is associated with chromatin opening at the promoter. Our work identifies a novel function for C/EBPβ in the initial steps of a localized chromatin opening at a specific, physiologically relevant target region

Topics: Articles
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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