A cyclic AMP (cAMP)-inducible enhancer in the pig urokinase-type plasminogen activator gene located 3.4 kb upstream of the transcription initiation site is composed of three protein-binding domains, A, B, and C. Domains A and B each contain a CRE (cAMP response element)-like sequence but require the adjoining C domain for full cAMP responsiveness. A tissue-specific transcription factor, LFB3/HNF1beta/vHNF1, binds to the C domain. Mutation analyses suggest that the imperfect CRE and LFB3-binding sequences are required for tight coupling of hormonal and tissue-specific regulation. CREB and ATF1 bind to domains A and B, and this binding is enhanced upon phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase A [PKA]). Analysis in a mammalian two-hybrid system revealed that CREB/ATF1 and LFB3 interact and that transactivation potential is enhanced by PKA activation. Interestingly, however, phosphorylation of CREB at Ser-133 does not contribute to its interaction with LFB3. The region of LFB3 involved in its interaction with CREB/ATF1 lies, at least partly, between amino acids 400 and 450. Deletion of this region removed the ability of LFB3 to mediate cAMP induction of the ABC enhancer but did not impair its basal transactivation activity on the albumin promoter. Thus, the two activities are distinct functions of LFB3.
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