The Core Promoter and Redox-sensitive Cis-elements as Key Targets for Inactivation of the Lysyl Oxidase Gene by Cadmium

Jianmin Li, Guang Cheng, Maoguen Zheng, Yinzhi Zhao, Jing Zhou, Wande Li

Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA


Exposure of humans to cadmium (Cd) either from environmental contamination or from cigarette smoke, often induces lung emphysema and cancers.  Lysyl oxidase (LOX), a copper-dependent enzyme essential for crosslinking of the extracellular matrix, displays antagonistic effects on emphysema and cancer pathogenesis.  Our previous studies showed down-regulation of LOX in Cd-resistant (CdR) rat fetal lung fibroblasts (RFL6) derived from parental cells via long-term Cd exposure. The cloned rat LOX gene promoter -804/-1 (relative to ATG) with the maximal promoter activity contains the Inr-DPE core promoter, putative NFI binding sites, metal response elements (MRE) and antioxidant response elements (ARE).   ChIP assays reported here further characterize the rat LOX gene promoter in response to Cd.  CdR cells exhibited enhanced methylation of CpG at the LOX core promoter region and reduced activities of the NFI binding sites and MRE, but increased activity of the ARE in a dose-dependent manner.  The collective effect of Cd on the LOX promoter is trans-inhibition of the LOX gene as shown by suppression of histone H3 acetylation in the LOX core promoter region.  Thus, the LOX core promoter and redox-sensitive cis-elements are key Cd targets for down-regulation of LOX relevant to mechanisms for Cd-induced emphysema and lung cancers. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(2):e38, 2015.

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