Differential Expression of Egr-1-Like DNA-Binding Activities in the Naive Rat Brain and After Excitatory Stimulation


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. A. M. Beckmann at Alcohol Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Q, 4072, Australia.


Abstract: Egr-1 and related proteins are inducible transcription factors within the brain recognizing the same consensus DNA sequence. Three Egr DNA-binding activities were observed in regions of the naive rat brain. Egr-1 was present in all brain regions examined. Bands composed, at least in part, of Egr-2 and Egr-3 were present in different relative amounts in the cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus, thalamus, and midbrain. All had similar affinity and specificity for the Egr consensus DNA recognition sequence. Administration of the convulsants NMDA, kainate, and pentylenetetrazole differentially induced Egr-1 and Egr-2/3 DNA-binding activities in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. All convulsants induced Egr-1 and Egr-2 immunoreactivity in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. These data indicate that the members of the Egr family are regulated at different levels and may interact at promoters containing the Egr consensus sequence to fine tune a program of gene expression resulting from excitatory stimuli.