A urokinase receptor promoter element (-152/-135) bound with an AP-2-alpha-related protein and SP1 is required for the induction of gene expression by PMA and SRC

Heike Allgayer, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (u-PAR) promotes extracellular matrix degradation, invasion and metastasis. A first objective of this dissertation was to identify cis-elements and trans-acting factors activating u-PAR gene expression through a previously footprinted (–148/–124) promoter region. Mobility shifting experiments on nuclear extracts of a high u-PAR-expressing colon cancer cell line (RKO) indicated Sp1, Sp3 and a factor similar to, but distinct from, AP-2α bound to an oligonucleotide spanning –152/–135. Mutations preventing the binding of the AP-2α-related factor reduced u-PAR promoter activity. In RKO, the expression of a dominant negative AP-2 (AP-2αB) diminished u-PAR promoter activity, protein and u-PAR mediated laminin degradation. Conversely, u-PAR promoter activity in low u-PAR-expressing GEO cells was increased by AP-2αA expression. PMA treatment, which induces u-PAR expression, caused an increased amount of the AP-2α-related factor-containing complex in GEO, and mutations preventing AP-2α-like and Sp1/Sp3 binding reduced the u-PAR promoter stimulation by PMA. In resected colon cancers, u-PAR protein amounts were related to the amount of the AP-2α-related factor-containing complex. In conclusion, constitutive and PMA- inducible u-PAR gene expression and -proteolysis are mediated partly through transactivation via a promoter sequence (–152/435) bound with an AP-2α-related factor and Sp1/Sp3. A second interest of this dissertation was to determine if a constitutively active Src regulates the transcription of the u-PAR gene, since c-src expression increases invasion in colon cancer. Increased u-PAR protein and laminin degradation paralleling elevated Src activity was evident in SW480 colon cancer cells stably expressing a constitutively active Src (Y- c-src527F). Nuclear run-on experiments indicated that this was due largely to transcriptional activation. While transient transfection of SW480 cells with Y-c-src527F induced a u-PAR-CAT-reporter, mutations preventing Sp1-binding to promoter region –152/435 abolished this induction. Mobility shift assays revealed increased Sp1 binding to region –152/135 with nuclear extracts of Src-transfected SW480 cells. Finally, the amounts of endogenous u-PAR in resected colon cancers significantly correlated with Src-activity. These data suggest that u-PAR gene expression and proteolysis are regulated by Src, this requiring the promoter region (–152/–135) bound with Sp1, thus, demonstrating for the first time that transcription factor Sp1 is a downstream effector of Src.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Oncology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Allgayer, Heike, "A urokinase receptor promoter element (-152/-135) bound with an AP-2-alpha-related protein and SP1 is required for the induction of gene expression by PMA and SRC" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9929367.