Toll-like Receptor (TLR)-induced Rasgef1b expression in macrophages is regulated by NF-κB through its proximal promoter

Ras Guanine Exchange Factor (RasGEF) domain family member 1b is encoded by a Toll-like receptor (TLR)-inducible gene expressed in macrophages, but transcriptional mechanisms that govern its expression are still unknown. Here, we have functionally characterized the 5´ flanking Rasgef1b sequence and analyzed its transcriptional activation. We have identified that the inflammation-responsive promoter is contained within a short sequence (-183 to +119) surrounding the transcriptional start site. The promoter sequence is evolutionarily conserved and harbors a cluster of five NF-κB binding sites. Luciferase reporter gene assay showed that the promoter is responsive to TLR activation and RelA or cRel, but not RelB, transcription factors. Besides, site-directed mutagenesis showed that the κB binding sites are required for maximal promoter activation induced by LPS. Analysis by Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) revealed that the promoter is located in an accessible chromatin region. More important, Chromatin Immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) showed that RelA is recruited to the promoter region upon LPS stimulation of bone marrow-derived macrophages. Finally, studies with Rela-deficient macrophages or pharmacological inhibition by Bay11-7082 showed that NF-κB is required for optimal Rasgef1b expression induced by TLR agonists. Our data provide evidence of the regulatory mechanism mediated by NF-κB that facilitates Rasgef1b expression after TLR activation in macrophages.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2020 Aug 28;105840. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2020.105840.