The gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (KLF4) and the ligand-bound thyroid hormone receptor (TR) have each been shown to play a critical role in mammalian gut development and differentiation. We investigated an interrelationship between these two presumably independent pathways using the differentiation marker gene, intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP). Transient transfections were performed in Cos-7 cells using luciferase reporter plasmids containing a 2.5 kb segment of the proximal human IAP 5′ regulatory region, as well as multiple deletions. Cells were cotransfected with TR and/or KLF4 expression vectors and treated±100 nmol/L thyroid hormone (T3). IAP reporter gene transactivation was increased independently by KLF4 (ninefold) and ligand-bound TRβ1 (sevenfold). Cells cotransfected with KLF4 and TRβ1 in the presence of T3 showed synergistic activation (70-fold). A similar pattern was seen with the other T3 receptor isoform, TRα1. The synergistic effect was lost with deletions of the T3 and KLF4 response elements in the IAP promoter and was completely or partially abolished in the case of mutant KLF4 expression vectors. The thyroid hormone receptor complex and KLF4 synergistically activate the enterocyte differentiation marker gene IAP, suggesting a previously unrecognized interrelationship between these two transcription factor pathways.
- Gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor
- Thyroid hormone
- Transcription factors
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