Differential regulation of genes encoding synaptic proteins by members of the Brn-3 subfamily of POU transcription factors

Peter J. Morris, Nick D. Lakin, Sally J. Dawson, Andrey E. Ryabinin, Manfred W. Kilimann, Michael C. Wilson, David S. Latchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The three members of the Brn-3 subfamily of POU transcription factors have distinct effects on target gene expression. We show that the promoter of the gene encoding the presynaptic nerve terminal protein SNAP-25 resembles previously characterised target genes in being activated by Brn-3a and Brn-3c, but being repressed by Brn-3b. Unlike other target genes, however, the SNAP-25 promoter can be activated by either the N- or C-terminal activation domains of Brn-3a. In contrast to the SNAP-25 gene, the gene encoding the synaptic vesicle protein synapsin I is activated by all the Bm-3 factors, the first gene for which this activation pattern has been reported. Interestingly, however, similar activation by all three Brn-3 factors can be observed if the SNAP-25 promoter is truncated by removal of sequences from -2200 to -288 relative to the transcriptional start site. Moreover, a region of the SNAP-25 promoter from -288 to -126 can render a heterologous promoter responsive to activation by all three Brn-3 factors. Differences in promoter structure may thus result in differences in the response to different Brn-3 factors, thus allowing these factors to produce diverse activation patterns of neuronally expressed genes, such as those encoding different synaptic proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 31 1996



  • Bm-3
  • POU family transcription factor
  • SNAP-25
  • Synapsin
  • Transcriptional control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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