We have analyzed the promoter of human gilz (glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper), a dexamethasone-inducible gene that is involved in regulating apoptosis, and identified six glucocorticoid (GC)-responsive elements and three Forkhead responsive elements (FHREs). Promoter deletion analysis and point mutations showed that individual mutation of the GC-responsive elements does not affect GC-induced transcription and that FHRE-1 and FHRE-3 elements contribute to the effects of GCs. Furthermore, overexpression of the Forkhead transcription factor FoxO3 enhances GC-induced gilz mRNA expression. The functional significance of the interaction between FoxO3 and GC receptor was established in T lymphocytes. Indeed, we show that GCs failed to induce GILZ expression in the presence of IL-2, a cytokine known to antagonize GC effects in T cells. Using a constitutive active mutant of protein kinase B that inactivates FoxO3 or a FoxO3 mutant that cannot be inactivated by protein kinase B, we demonstrate that IL-2 inhibitory effects on GILZ expression are mediated through inhibition of FoxO3 transcriptional activity. Therefore, FoxO3 appears to be a key factor mediating GC and IL-2 antagonism for gilz regulation in T lymphocytes. This regulation of GILZ expression was placed in a meaningful context in evaluating the effects of GILZ on GC-induced apoptosis in T lymphocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology