Binding preferences of the POU domain protein Brain-4: Implications for autoregulation

Karl F. Malik, Jin Kim, Adam L. Hartman, Paul Kim, W. Scott Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The POU domain-containing transcription factor Brain-4 (Brn-4, RHS-2) was examined for its sites of expression and DNA binding preferences. In the rat, Brn-4 is expressed in 76 and 65% of vasopressin neurons in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei, respectively; but in only 10% of corticotropin-releasing factor neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. From these data we speculate that genes expressed within vasopressinergic neurons are more likely to be regulated by Brn-4 than those in corticotropin-releasing factor neurons. Random oligonucleotide site selection indicates Brn-4 prefers binding the DNA element CAATATGCTAAT and is inflexible in its spacing requirement between putative CAATAT and TAAT half sites, preferring 2 nucleotides between these elements. Electrophoretic mobility shift and DNase I footprinting analyses show five regions between nucleotides -457 and +22 of the Brn-4 promoter that are bound by Brn-4. Furthermore, Brn-4 can transactivate from this region of the Brn-4 promoter, suggesting that Brn-4 expression may be autoregulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoregulation
  • Gene regulation
  • Hypothalamus
  • In situ hybridization
  • Neuropeptide
  • POU
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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