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Regulatory architecture of the neuronal Cacng2/Tarpγ2 gene promoter: multiple repressive domains, a polymorphic regulatory short tandem repeat, and bidirectional organization with co-regulated lncRNAs

Corney, BPA, Widnall, CL, Rees, DJ, Davies, JS, Crunelli, Vincenzo and Carter, David 2019. Regulatory architecture of the neuronal Cacng2/Tarpγ2 gene promoter: multiple repressive domains, a polymorphic regulatory short tandem repeat, and bidirectional organization with co-regulated lncRNAs. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 67 (2) , pp. 282-294. 10.1007/s12031-018-1208-x

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Abstract

CACNG2 (TARPγ2, Stargazin) is a multi-functional regulator of excitatory neurotransmission and has been implicated in the pathological processes of several brain diseases. Cacng2 function is dependent upon expression level, but currently, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that control expression of this gene. To address this deficit and investigate disease-related gene variants, we have cloned and characterized the rat Cacng2 promoter and have defined three major features: (i) multiple repressive domains that include an array of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) elements, and a calcium regulatory element-binding factor (CaRF) element, (ii) a (poly-GA) short tandem repeat (STR), and (iii) bidirectional organization with expressed lncRNAs. Functional activity of the promoter was demonstrated in transfected neuronal cell lines (HT22 and PC12), but although selective removal of REST and CaRF domains was shown to enhance promoter-driven transcription, the enhanced Cacng2 promoter constructs were still about fivefold weaker than a comparable rat Synapsin-1 promoter sequence. Direct evidence of REST activity at the Cacng2 promoter was obtained through co-transfection with an established dominant-negative REST (DNR) construct. Investigation of the GA-repeat STR revealed polymorphism across both animal strains and species, and size variation was also observed in absence epilepsy disease model cohorts (Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats, Strasbourg [GAERS] and non-epileptic control [NEC] rats). These data provide evidence of a genotype (STR)-phenotype correlation that may be unique with respect to proximal gene regulatory sequence in the demonstrated absence of other promoter, or 3′ UTR variants in GAERS rats. However, although transcriptional regulatory activity of the STR was demonstrated in further transfection studies, we did not find a GAERS vs. NEC difference, indicating that this specific STR length variation may only be relevant in the context of other (Cacna1h and Kcnk9) gene variants in this disease model. Additional studies revealed further (bidirectional) complexity at the Cacng2 promoter, and we identified novel, co-regulated, antisense rat lncRNAs that are paired with Cacng2 mRNA. These studies have provided novel insights into the organization of a synaptic protein gene promoter, describing multiple repressive and modulatory domains that can mediate diverse regulatory inputs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Humana Press
ISSN: 0895-8696
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 26 October 2018
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2019 12:36
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/116262

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