Ets-2 and p53 mediate cAMP-induced MMP-2 expression, activity and trophoblast invasion
Ets-2 controls the activities of many genes characteristically up-regulated in trophoblast. One apparent exception has been the gene for the human chorionic gonadotropin subunit alpha (hCGalpha). Here, we show that the hCGalpha gene contains two overlapping Ets binding sites adjacent to an activator protein-1-like site in its proximal promoter. Transactivation by Ets-2 is susceptible to truncation and mutation of these sites, which bind Ets-2 during in vitro mobility shift assays, as well as in vivo as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation in choriocarcinoma cells. Knockdown of Ets-2 with short interfering RNA decreases both promoter activity and synthesis of hCGalpha. Ets-2 acts in combination with the protein kinase A (PKA) signal transduction pathway to activate the hCGalpha promoter expression. Mutation of the Ets-2 binding sites dramatically reduces up-regulation by PKA, whereas mutations within the two cAMP-responsive elements abolish responsiveness of the promoter to Ets-2. cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) and Ets-2 form a complex that can be coimmunoprecipitated from choriocarcinoma cells, and association of CREB and Ets-2 is increased by activation of PKA. Regulation of hCGalpha subunit gene activity by cAMP involves the binding of CREB and Ets-2 to discrete elements in the promoter as well as a physical interaction between the two proteins. We propose that regulation of hCGalpha by Ets-2 and CREB enables coordinated expression of hCGalpha with its partner hCGbeta subunit.