Regulation of proenkephalin by Fos and Jun

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Science  22 Dec 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4937, pp. 1622-1625
DOI: 10.1126/science.2512642


Fos and Jun form a heterodimeric complex that associates with the nucleotide sequence motif known as the AP-1 binding site. Although this complex has been proposed to function as a transcriptional regulator in neurons, no specific target gene has yet been identified. Proenkephalin mRNA increased in the hippocampus during seizure just after an increase in c-fos and c-jun expression was detected. Fos-Jun complexes bound specifically to a regulatory sequence in the 5' control region of the proenkephalin gene. Furthermore, c-fos and c-jun stimulated transcription from this control region synergistically in transactivation assays. These data suggest that the proenkephalin gene may be a physiological target for Fos and Jun in the hippocampus and indicate that these proto-oncogene transcription factors may play a role in neuronal responses to stimulation.

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