The epithelial Na+ channel subunit-α (αENaC) of the distal nephron is essential for salt balance. We previously demonstrated that the histone methyltransferase Dot1a and its protein partner Af9 basally repress αENaC transcription in mIMCD3 cells and link aldosterone-elicited chromatin modifications to αENaC transcriptional activation. Af9 DNA-binding activity has never been demonstrated, and whether and where Af9 binds to the αENaC promoter to target Dot1a is unknown. The present study sought to identify functional Af9 cis-element(s) in the -57/+439 "R3" subregion of αENaC, the principal site for Dot1a-Af9 interaction, in mIMCD3 cells. We also exploited connecting tubule/collecting duct-specific Dot1l-deficient mice (Dot1lAC) to determine the impact of Dot1l inactivation on renal αENaC expression in vivo. mIMCD3 cell lines expressing αENaC promoter-reporter constructs harboring deletion of +74/+107 demonstrated greatly reduced association of Af9 and Dot1a by ChIP/qPCR. Aldosterone treatment resulted in further decrements in Af9 and Dot1a association with the αENaC promoter. Gel shift and antibody competition assays using wild type and mutant oligomers revealed Af9-containing +78/+92 αENaC DNA-protein complexes in nuclear extracts of mIMCD3 cells. Mutation of the +78/+92 element resulted in higher basal αENaC promoter activity and impaired Dot1a-mediated inhibition in trans-repression assays. In agreement, mice with connecting tubule/collecting duct-specific knockout of Dot1l exhibited greater αENaC mRNA levels in kidney compared to control. Thus, we conclude that +78/+92 of αENaC represents the primary Af9 binding site involved in recruiting Dot1a to repress basal and aldosterone-sensitive αENaC transcription, and that Dot1l inactivation promotes αENaC mRNA expression by eliminating Dot1a-mediated repression.
- collecting duct
- transcription factor
- gene expression
- Copyright © 2011, American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology