Angiotensinogen is shown to be produced by the liver and the hepatoma cell line HepG2. As a first step for understanding the molecular relationship between the transcriptional regulation of the angiotensinogen gene and the pathogenesis of hypertension, we have analyzed the basal promoter of the angiotensinogen gene. Chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) assays with 5'-deleted constructs showed that the proximal promoter region from -96 to +22 of the transcriptional start site was enough to express HepG2-specific CAT activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and DNase I footprinting demonstrated that the liver- and HepG2-specific nuclear factor (angiotensinogen gene-activating factor [AGF2]) and ubiquitous nuclear factor (AGF3) bound to the proximal promoter element from -96 to -52 (angiotensinogen gene-activating element [AGE2]) and to the core promoter element from -6 to +22 (AGE3), respectively. The site-directed disruption of either AGE2 or AGE3 decreased CAT expression, and the sequential titration of AGF3 binding by in vivo competition remarkably suppressed HepG2-specific CAT activity. Finally, the heterologous thymidine kinase promoter assay showed that AGE2 and AGE3 synergistically conferred HepG2-specific CAT expression. These results suggest that the synergistic interplay between AGF2 and AGF3 is important for the angiotensinogen promoter activation.
K Tamura, S Umemura, M Ishii, K Tanimoto, K Murakami, A Fukamizu
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