A FOXA1-binding enhancer regulates Hoxb13 expression in the prostate gland

Ryan P. McMullin, Albert Dobi, Laura N. Mutton, András Orosz, Shilpi Maheshwari, Cooduvalli S. Shashikant, Charles J. Bieberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Hoxb13 is robustly transcribed in derivatives of posterior endoderm including the colon, rectum, and the prostate gland. Transcriptional activity in the prostate persists unabated under conditions of androgen deprivation and throughout the course of disease progression in a mouse prostate cancer model. To elucidate the molecular basis of prostate-restricted transcriptional activation of Hoxb13, a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based reporter gene deletion analysis was performed in transgenic mice. Two regions downstream of the Hoxb13 coding region were found to be required to support transcriptional activity in the prostate but were completely dispensable for expression in the colon and rectum. Bioinformatic analyses of one region identified a 37-bp element conserved in mammals. This element, which bears two potential binding sites for Forkhead class transcription factors, is occupied by FOXA1 in ahumanprostate cancer cell line. Precise replacement of this enhancer with an extended LoxP site in the context of a 218,555-bp BAC reporter nearly extinguished Hoxb13-mediated transcriptional activity in the mouse prostate. These data demonstrate that FOXA1 directly regulates HOXB13 in human prostate epithelial cells, and show that this prostate-specific regulatory mechanism is conserved in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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