Glucocorticoid response and promoter occupancy of the mouse LXRα gene

Knut R. Steffensen, Elin Holter, Nyosha Alikhani, Winnie Eskild, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The liver X receptors α and β (LXRα and LXRβ) are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily of proteins which are highly expressed in metabolically active tissues. They regulate gene expression of critical genes involved in cholesterol catabolism and transport, lipid and triglyceride biosynthesis, and carbohydrate metabolism in response to distinct oxysterol intermediates in the cholesterol metabolic pathway. Several LXR target genes have been identified, but there is limited information on how expression of the LXRs themselves is controlled. In this study we have characterized the upstream flanking region of the mouse LXRα gene. Transient transfections show that the LXRα promoter is able to drive transcription of a luciferase reporter gene, however, the transcriptional potential of the promoter in the cell lines used was low. The -2143 to -1513 region of the promoter mediates repression of reporter gene activity in all cells analyzed and multiple DNA-protein interactions were detected in this region by DNase I footprinting. The Zta, Ets, and Hes1 transcription factors were all shown to mediate alterations in reporter gene activity driven by LXRα promoter deletion constructs. These factors have been linked to cell cycle and differentiation processes suggesting that expression of LXRα might be under control of signalling mechanisms regulating cell proliferation. Several putative binding sites of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) were identified in the LXRα promoter and transient cotransfections of the GR and LXRα promoter deletion constructs induced reporter gene activity. Addition of dexamethasone, a GR agonist, abolished this effect suggesting cross talk between GR and LXR signalling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-724
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 19 2003


  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Liver X receptor
  • LXRα promoter
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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