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Keywords:

  • C-type natriuretic peptide;
  • transcription factor;
  • transforming growth factor-β

Our previous studies on the promoter function of the human C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) gene revealed the existence of two GC-rich cis elements essential for gene transcription in rat pituitary-derived GH3 cells. To isolate transcription factors that bind to those GC-rich elements, we screened a λZAP cDNA library derived from GH3 cells by Southwestern screening. Several positive clones with specific binding abilities were obtained, and one was identical as TSC-22, a speculated transcriptional modulator stimulated by transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) of unknown function. TSC-22 significantly enhanced CNP promoter activity in GH3 cells. We further cloned a 1.8-kb full-length human TSC-22 cDNA from a fetal kidney cDNA library by a combination of polymerase chain reaction and the rapid amplification of the cDNA ends technique. In adults, human TSC-22 mRNA was highly expressed in brain, lung and heart. TSC-22 gene expression in GH3 and human aortic endothelial cells was stimulated by cytokines including TGF-β in correlation with the CNP mRNA increase. These results suggest that TSC-22 is a transcriptional regulator of the CNP gene and transmits signals from cytokines, such as TGF-β, to CNP gene expression.