Author(s): Iwasaki K, Mackenzie EL, Hailemariam K, Sakamoto K, Tsuji Y, Iwasaki K, Mackenzie EL, Hailemariam K, Sakamoto K, Tsuji Y
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Abstract An effective utilization of intracellular iron is a prerequisite for erythroid differentiation and hemoglobinization. Ferritin, consisting of 24 subunits of H and L, plays a crucial role in iron homeostasis. Here, we have found that the H subunit of the ferritin gene is activated at the transcriptional level during hemin-induced differentiation of K562 human erythroleukemic cells. Transfection of various 5' regions of the human ferritin H gene fused to a luciferase reporter into K562 cells demonstrated that hemin activates ferritin H transcription through an antioxidant-responsive element (ARE) that is responsible for induction of a battery of phase II detoxification genes by oxidative stress. Gel retardation and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that hemin induced binding of cJun, JunD, FosB, and Nrf2 b-zip transcription factors to AP1 motifs of the ferritin H ARE, despite no significant change in expression levels or nuclear localization of these transcription factors. A Gal4-luciferase reporter assay did not show activation of these b-zip transcription factors after hemin treatment; however, redox factor 1 (Ref-1), which increases DNA binding of Jun/Fos family members via reduction of a conserved cysteine in their DNA binding domains, showed induced nuclear translocation after hemin treatment in K562 cells. Consistently, Ref-1 enhanced Nrf2 binding to the ARE and ferritin H transcription. Hemin also activated ARE sequences of other phase II genes, such as GSTpi and NQO1. Collectively, these results suggest that hemin activates the transcription of the ferritin H gene during K562 erythroid differentiation by Ref-1-mediated activation of these b-zip transcription factors to the ARE.
This article was published in Mol Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy