Abstract 611: AP-1 and ETS Family Transcription Factors Co-localize at Enhancers in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells
Introduction: Sequence-specific transcription factors bind DNA regulatory elements and play a key role in establishing cellular identity. Studies comparing macrophages to B cells have revealed that small numbers of such collaborative or lineage-determining transcription factors (LDTF) establish distinct enhancers in each cell type. These factors also allow for the binding of signal dependent transcription factors. Here we present data which suggest members of the AP-1, ETS, and STAT transcription factor families serve as collaborative transcriptional regulators in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC).
Hypothesis: We hypothesize that a set of AP-1 and ETS transcription factors collaborate to establish key endothelial cell enhancers.
Methods: Working in HAEC, we measured poised and active enhancers using ChIP-seq for the epigenetic histone modifications H3K4me2 and H3K27Ac, performed motif analysis, and measured transcription factor binding for candidate factors. Knockdowns of JUN, ERG, and STAT3 followed by RNA-seq were used to evaluate altered enhancer function and gene targets of candidate factors.
Results: Our de novo motif analysis revealed that motifs for ETS and AP-1 transcription factors are highly enriched at HAEC enhancers. ChIP-seq experiments for JUN, JUNB, ERG, and STAT3 showed between 8,000 and 55,000 intergenic peaks for each factor. Together these peaks bind 50% of poised enhancers, with a subset co-localizing at these sites. Gene ontology analysis showed that gene targets of these enhancers are involved in endothelial-specific functions. Further, knockdown of JUN, ERG, and STAT3 resulted in a twofold or greater change in expression of hundreds of HAEC transcripts.
Conclusion: The genome-wide pattern of JUN, JUNB, ERG, and STAT3 co-localization at enhancers in HAEC suggests these factors serve as key regulators that collaboratively modulate endothelial-specific gene expression. Further investigation of candidate lineage-determining transcription factors using pro-atherogenic signals could reveal regulatory mechanisms of disease-relevant endothelial transcriptional programs.
Author Disclosures: N.T. Hogan: None. C.E. Romanoski: None. M.T. Lam: None. C.K. Glass: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.