Control of the Calcitonin Gene-related Peptide Enhancer by Upstream Stimulatory Factor in Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons

Ki-Youb Park, Andrew F. Russo
2007 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a key player in migraine. However, the transcription factors controlling CGRP expression in the migraine-relevant trigeminal ganglion neurons are unknown. Previous in vitro studies demonstrated that upstream stimulatory factor (USF) 1 and USF2 bind to the CGRP neuroendocrine-specific 18-bp enhancer, yet discrepant overexpression results in cell lines, and the ubiquitous nature of the USF cast doubts about its role. To test the
more » ... role of USF, we first demonstrated that small interfering RNAs directed against USF1 and USF2 reduced endogenous CGRP RNA and preferentially targeted the USF binding site at the 18-bp enhancer in the neuronal-like CA77 cell line. In cultured rat trigeminal ganglion neurons, knockdown of either USF1 or USF2 reduced CGRP promoter activity. Conversely, overexpression of USF1 or USF2 increased promoter activity. The activation was even greater upon cotransfection with an upstream activator of mitogen-activated protein kinases and was synergistic in a heterologous cell line. To begin to address the paradox of how ubiquitous USF proteins might direct neuronal-specific activity, we examined USF expression and used a series of adenoviral reporters in the cultured ganglia. Unexpectedly, there was more intense USF immunostaining in neurons than nonneuronal cells. Importantly, the 18-bp USF enhancer driving a minimal promoter was sufficient for neuronal specificity, although it was not the only site that directed neuronal expression. These results demonstrate that USF1 and USF2 are important contributors to neuronal-specific and mitogen-activated protein kinase regulation of the CGRP gene in trigeminal ganglion neurons. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) 2 is a potent vasodilatory neuropeptide (1) that has been implicated in the pathol-
doi:10.1074/jbc.m708662200 pmid:18167349 fatcat:2d3ok2ul5fbcvh65c3szco4yja