Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation underlying temporal integration of signals.
ABSTRACT: How cells convert the duration of signals into differential adaptation of gene expression is a poorly understood issue. Signal-induced immediate-early gene (IEG) expression couples early signals to late expression of downstream genes. Here we study how kinetic features of the IEG- system allow temporal integration of stimuli in a pancreatic beta cell model of metabolic stimulation. Gene expression profiling revealed that beta cells produce drastically different transcriptional outputs in response to different stimuli durations. Noteworthy, most genes (87%) regulated by a sustained stimulation (4 h) were not regulated by a transient stimulation (1 h followed by 3 h without stimulus). We analyzed the induction kinetics of several previously identified IEGs and . IEG expression persisted as long as stimulation was maintained, but was rapidly lost upon stimuli removal, abolishing the delayed induction. The molecular mechanisms coupling the duration of stimuli to quantitative transcription were demonstrated for the AP-1 transcription factor. In conclusion, we propose that the network composed of IEGs and their dynamically functions to convert signal inputs of different durations into quantitative differences in global transcriptional adaptation. These findings provide a novel and more comprehensive view of dynamic gene regulation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Physiological long term adaptation of pancreatic beta cells is driven by stimuli such as glucose and incretin hormones acting via cAMP (e.g. GLP-1) and involves regulated gene expression. Several rapidly inducible immediate-early genes (IEGs) have been identified in beta cells. Many of these IEGs code for transcription factors and have the potential to control the transcription of downstream target genes likely involved in long term cellular adaptation. The identity of these target genes has not been determined, and the sequence of events occurring during beta cell adaptation is still unclear. RESULTS: We have developed a microarray-based strategy for the systematic search of targets. In Min6 insulin-secreting cells, we identified 592 targets and 1278 IEGs responding to a co-stimulation with glucose and cAMP. Both IEGs and targets were involved in a large panel of functions, including those important to beta cell physiology (metabolism, secretion). Nearly 200 IEGs were involved in signaling and transcriptional regulation. To find specific examples of the regulatory link between IEGs and targets, target promoter sequences were analyzed in silico. Statistically significant over-representation of AP-1 response elements notably suggested an important role for this transcription factor, which was experimentally verified. Indeed, cell stimulation altered expression of IEG-encoded components of the AP-1 complex, activating AP-1-dependent transcription. Loss and gain-of-function experiments furthermore allowed to validate a new AP-1 regulated gene (sulfiredoxin) among the targets. AP-1 and sulfiredoxin are sequentially induced also in primary cells from rat islets of Langerhans. CONCLUSION: By identifying IEGs and their downstream targets, this study brings a comprehensive description of the transcriptional response occurring after beta cell stimulation, as well as new mechanistic insights concerning the AP-1 transcription factor.
Project description:The induction of immediate-early gene (IEG) expression in brain nuclei in response to an experience is necessary for the formation of long-term memories. Additionally, the rapid dynamics of IEG induction and decay motivates the common use of IEG expression as markers for identification of neuronal assemblies ("ensembles") encoding recent experience. However, major gaps remain in understanding the rules governing the distribution of IEGs within neuronal assemblies. Thus, the extent of correlation between coexpressed IEGs, the cell specificity of IEG expression, and the spatial distribution of IEG expression have not been comprehensively studied. To address these gaps, we utilized quantitative multiplexed single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) and measured the expression of IEGs (<i>Arc</i>, <i>Egr2</i>, and <i>Nr4a1</i>) within spiny projection neurons (SPNs) in the dorsal striatum of mice following acute exposure to cocaine. Exploring the relevance of our observations to other brain structures and stimuli, we also analyzed data from a study of single-cell RNA sequencing of mouse cortical neurons. We found that while IEG expression is graded, the expression of multiple IEGs is tightly correlated at the level of individual neurons. Interestingly, we observed that region-specific rules govern the induction of IEGs in SPN subtypes within striatal subdomains. We further observed that IEG-expressing assemblies form spatially defined clusters within which the extent of IEG expression correlates with cluster size. Together, our results suggest the existence of IEG-expressing neuronal "superensembles," which are associated in spatial clusters and characterized by coherent and robust expression of multiple IEGs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sensitive detection of sensory-evoked neuronal activation is a key to mechanistic understanding of brain functions. Since immediate early genes (IEGs) are readily induced in the brain by environmental changes, tracing IEG expression provides a convenient tool to identify brain activity. In this study we used in situ hybridization to detect odor-evoked induction of ten IEGs in the mouse olfactory system. We then analyzed IEG induction in the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit A2 (Cnga2)-null mice to visualize residual neuronal activity following odorant exposure since CNGA2 is a key component of the olfactory signal transduction pathway in the main olfactory system.<h4>Results</h4>We observed rapid induction of as many as ten IEGs in the mouse olfactory bulb (OB) after olfactory stimulation by a non-biological odorant amyl acetate. A robust increase in expression of several IEGs like c-fos and Egr1 was evident in the glomerular layer, the mitral/tufted cell layer and the granule cell layer. Additionally, the neuronal IEG Npas4 showed steep induction from a very low basal expression level predominantly in the granule cell layer. In Cnga2-null mice, which are usually anosmic and sexually unresponsive, glomerular activation was insignificant in response to either ambient odorants or female stimuli. However, a subtle induction of c-fos took place in the OB of a few Cnga2-mutants which exhibited sexual arousal. Interestingly, very strong glomerular activation was observed in the OB of Cnga2-null male mice after stimulation with either the neutral odor amyl acetate or the predator odor 2, 3, 5-trimethyl-3-thiazoline (TMT).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study shows for the first time that in vivo olfactory stimulation can robustly induce the neuronal IEG Npas4 in the mouse OB and confirms the odor-evoked induction of a number of IEGs. As shown in previous studies, our results indicate that a CNGA2-independent signaling pathway(s) may activate the olfactory circuit in Cnga2-null mice and that neuronal activation which correlates to behavioral difference in individual mice is detectable by in situ hybridization of IEGs. Thus, the in situ hybridization probe set we established for IEG tracing can be very useful to visualize neuronal activity at the cellular level.
Project description:Three Homer genes regulate the activity of metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluR1a and mGluR5 and their coupling to releasable intracellular Ca2+ pools and ion channels. Only the Homer 1 gene evolved bimodal expression of constitutive (Homer 1b and c) and immediate early gene (IEG) products (Homer 1a and Ania 3). The IEG forms compete functionally with the constitutive Homer proteins. The complex expression of the Homer 1 gene, unique for IEGs, focused our attention on the gene organization. In contrast to most IEGs, which have genes that are <5 kb, the Homer 1 gene was found to span approximately 100 kb. The constitutive Homer 1b/c forms are encoded by exons 1-10, whereas the IEG forms are encoded by exons 1-5 and parts of intron 5. RNase protection demonstrated a >10-fold activity-dependent increase in mRNA levels exclusively for the IEG forms. Moreover, fluorescent in situ hybridization documented that new primary Homer 1 transcripts are induced in neuronal nuclei within a few minutes after seizure, typical of IEGs, and that Homer 1b-specific exons are excluded from the activity-induced transcripts. Thus, at the resting state of the neurons, the entire gene is constitutively transcribed at low levels to yield Homer 1b/c transcripts. Neuronal activity sharply increases the rate of transcription initiation, with most transcripts now ending within the central intron. These coordinate transcriptional events rapidly convert a constitutive gene to an IEG and regulate the expression of functionally different Homer 1 proteins.
Project description:Immediate early gene (IEG) transcription is rapidly activated by diverse stimuli. This transcriptional regulation is assumed to involve constitutively expressed nuclear factors that are targets of signaling cascades initiated at the cell membrane. NF45 (encoded by ILF2) and its heterodimeric partner NF90/NF110 (encoded by ILF3) are chromatin-interacting proteins that are constitutively expressed and localized predominantly in the nucleus. Previously, NF90/NF110 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) in K562 erythroleukemia cells revealed its enriched association with chromatin at active promoters and strong enhancers. NF90/NF110 specifically occupied the promoters of IEGs. Here, ChIP in serum-starved HEK293 cells demonstrated that NF45 and NF90/NF110 pre-exist and specifically occupy the promoters of IEG transcription factors EGR1, FOS and JUN. Cellular stimulation with phorbol myristyl acetate increased NF90/NF110 chromatin association, while decreasing NF45 chromatin association at promoters of EGR1, FOS and JUN. In HEK293 cells stably transfected with doxycycline-inducible shRNA vectors targeting NF90/NF110 or NF45, doxycycline-mediated knockdown of NF90/NF110 or NF45 attenuated the inducible expression of EGR1, FOS, and JUN at the levels of transcription, RNA and protein. Dynamic chromatin association of NF45 and NF90/NF110 at IEG promoters are observed upon stimulation, and NF45 and NF90/NF110 contribute to inducible transcription of IEGs. NF45 and NF90/NF110 operate as chromatin regulators of the immediate early response.
Project description:Profound induction of immediate early genes (IEGs) by neural activation is a critical determinant for plasticity in the brain, but intervening molecular signals are not well characterized. We demonstrate that inositol polyphosphate multikinase (IPMK) acts noncatalytically as a transcriptional coactivator to mediate induction of numerous IEGs. IEG induction by electroconvulsive stimulation is virtually abolished in the brains of IPMK-deleted mice, which also display deficits in spatial memory. Neural activity stimulates binding of IPMK to the histone acetyltransferase CBP and enhances its recruitment to IEG promoters. Interestingly, IPMK regulation of CBP recruitment and IEG induction does not require its catalytic activities. Dominant-negative constructs, which prevent IPMK-CBP binding, substantially decrease IEG induction. As IPMK is ubiquitously expressed, its epigenetic regulation of IEGs may influence diverse nonneural and neural biologic processes.
Project description:The immediate-early response mediates cell fate in response to a variety of extracellular stimuli and is dysregulated in many cancers. However, the specificity of the response across stimuli and cell types, and the roles of non-coding RNAs are not well understood. Using a large collection of densely-sampled time series expression data we have examined the induction of the immediate-early response in unparalleled detail, across cell types and stimuli. We exploit cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) time series datasets to directly measure promoter activities over time. Using a novel analysis method for time series data we identify transcripts with expression patterns that closely resemble the dynamics of known immediate-early genes (IEGs) and this enables a comprehensive comparative study of these genes and their chromatin state. Surprisingly, these data suggest that the earliest transcriptional responses often involve promoters generating non-coding RNAs, many of which are produced in advance of canonical protein-coding IEGs. IEGs are known to be capable of induction without de novo protein synthesis. Consistent with this, we find that the response of both protein-coding and non-coding RNA IEGs can be explained by their transcriptionally poised, permissive chromatin state prior to stimulation. We also explore the function of non-coding RNAs in the attenuation of the immediate early response in a small RNA sequencing dataset matched to the CAGE data: We identify a novel set of microRNAs responsible for the attenuation of the IEG response in an estrogen receptor positive cancer cell line. Our computational statistical method is well suited to meta-analyses as there is no requirement for transcripts to pass thresholds for significant differential expression between time points, and it is agnostic to the number of time points per dataset.
Project description:A wide range of growth factors encode information into specific temporal patterns of MAP kinase (MAPK) and CREB phosphorylation, which are further decoded by expression of immediate early gene products (IEGs) to exert biological functions. However, the IEG decoding system remain unknown. We built a data-driven based on time courses of MAPK and CREB phosphorylation and IEG expression in response to various growth factors to identify how signal is processed. We found that IEG expression uses common decoding systems regardless of growth factors and expression of each IEG differs in upstream dependency, switch-like response, and linear temporal filters. Pulsatile ERK phosphorylation was selectively decoded by expression of EGR1 rather than c-FOS. Conjunctive NGF and PACAP stimulation was selectively decoded by synergistic JUNB expression through switch-like response to c-FOS. Thus, specific temporal patterns and combinations of MAPKs and CREB phosphorylation can be decoded by selective IEG expression via distinct temporal filters and switch-like responses. The data-driven modeling is versatile for analysis of signal processing and does not require detailed prior knowledge of pathways.
Project description:Immediate early gene (IEG) expression is coordinated by multiple MAP kinase signaling pathways in a signal specific manner. Stress-activated p38? MAP kinase is implicated in transcriptional regulation of IEGs via MSK-mediated CREB phosphorylation. The protein kinases downstream to p38, MAPKAP kinase (MK) 2 and MK3 have been identified to regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional levels of mRNA stability and translation. Here, we analyzed stress-induced IEG expression in MK2/3-deficient cells. Ablation of MKs causes a decrease of p38? level and p38-dependent IEG expression. Unexpectedly, restoration of p38? does not rescue the full-range IEG response. Instead, the catalytic activity of MKs is necessary for the major transcriptional activation of IEGs. By transcriptomics, we identified MK2-regulated genes and recognized the serum response element (SRE) as a common promoter element. We show that stress-induced phosphorylation of serum response factor (SRF) at serine residue 103 is significantly reduced and that induction of SRE-dependent reporter activity is impaired and can only be rescued by catalytically active MK2 in MK2/3-deficient cells. Hence, a new function of MKs in transcriptional activation of IEGs via the p38?-MK2/3-SRF-axis is proposed which probably cooperates with MKs' role in posttranscriptional gene expression in inflammation and stress response.
Project description:Transcription of immediate early genes (IEGs) in response to extrinsic and intrinsic signals is tightly regulated at multiple stages. It is known that untranslated regions of the RNA can play a role in these processes. Here we show that THOC5, a member of the TREX (transcription/export) complex, plays a role in expression of only a subset of constitutively active genes, however transcriptome analysis reveals that more than 90% of IEG were not induced by serum in THOC5 depleted cells. Furthermore, THOC5 depletion does not influence the expression of the most rapidly induced IEGs, e.g. Fos and Jun. One group of THOC5 target genes, including Id1, Id3 and Wnt11 transcripts, were not released from chromatin in THOC5 depleted cells. Genes in another group, including Myc and Smad7 transcripts, were released with shortening of 3'UTR by alternative cleavage, and were spliced but export was impaired in THOC5 depleted cells. By interactome analysis using THOC5 as bait, we show that upon stimulation with serum THOC5 forms a complex with polyadenylation-specific factor 100 (CPSF100). THOC5 is required for recruitment of CPSF100 to 3'UTR of THOC5 target genes. These data suggest the presence of a novel mechanism for the control of IEG response by THOC5 via 3'end-processing.