Positive and negative modulation of jun action by thyroid hormone receptor at a unique AP1 site

Gabriela Lopez, Fred Schaufele, Paul Webb, Jeffrey M. Holloway, John D. Baxter, Peter J. Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We have characterized the putative AP1 site in the backbone of pUC plasmids and found unique regulatory effects. The site, which mapped to a 19-bp region around nucleotide 37, conferred transcriptional activation by Jun or Jun/Fos that was boosted up to fivefold by unliganded thyroid hormone receptor (TR). Thyroid hormone changed potentiation of the Jun response by TR into repression. Although the plasmid sequence is a near-perfect consensus AP1 site, the perfect consensus AP 1 site from the human collagenase promoter did not show the same effects. Deletion of the ligand binding domain of the TR eliminated the ability of the receptor to boost Jun activity, and deletion, mutation, or changes in specificity of the DNA binding domain eliminated both its ability to potentiate Jun activity and repress with hormone. In vitro Jun/Fos complexes bound the operative plasmid fragment, and the presence of TR interfered very little with Jun/Fos binding activity. Protein interaction studies in the absence of DNA showed that TR bound Jun protein in solution either in the presence or in the absence of hormone. These observations suggest a mechanism for synergy and repression by TR through modulation of Jun activity: positive when TR is unliganded, and negative when hormone is bound. They also suggest that the presence of the plasmid element can confound studies of the regulation of linked promoters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3042-3049
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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