Abstract 267: Opposing Functions of Two Splice Variants of the Human Transcription Factor Grainyhead-like 3 in Endothelial Cells And in vivo
Grainyhead-like 3 (GRHL3) is a member of the evolutionary conserved Grainyhead family of transcription factors. In humans, three isoforms are derived from differential first exon usage and alternative splicing, which differ only in their N-terminus. Isoform 2, the only variant also present in mouse, is required for endothelial cell (EC) migration and protects against apoptosis. The functions of the human specific isoforms 1 and 3, which are derived from an alternatively spliced pre-mRNA, have not yet been investigated, although all three isoforms are expressed in EC. Therefore, we have assessed their effects on EC migration and apoptosis.
Overexpression of the two proteins had opposite effects on EC migration, with isoform 1 acting pro-migratory. This protein also protected EC against apoptosis in an eNOS-dependent manner, whereas isoform 3 had no effect. These opposing outcomes with respect to apoptosis EC were corroborated by isoform-specific knockdowns.
With reporter assays using a GRHL3-specific luciferase reporter we demonstrated that both are active transcription factors. Microarray analyses revealed that they induce divergent target gene sets in EC. Two validated targets, Akt2 and Mxi1, which are upregulated by isoform1, are regulators of Akt1-, and thus eNOS-phosphorylation and apoptosis, which could explain the effects of this protein on these processes.
In vivo, overexpression of isoform 3 in zebrafish embryos resulted in increased lethality and severe deformations, while isoform 1 had no deleterious effect.
In conclusion, our data demonstrate that the splice variant derived isoforms 1 and 3 of the human transcription factor GRHL3 induce opposing effects in primary human endothelial cells and in a whole animal model, most likely through the induction of different target genes.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.