Myb and Ets related transcription factors are required for activity of the human lck type I promoter.
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The lck gene, which encodes a lymphoid-specific Src family tyrosine kinase, is transcribed from two promoters that are differentially utilized during T cell development. We have shown previously that the human lck type I promoter, which is preferentially expressed in immature thymocytes, requires a binding site (-97 to -90) for the Ets family of transcription factors for its activity in Jurkat T leukemia cells. Three putative Myb binding sites (-86 to -82, -77 to -72 and -59 to -54) were analysed for their ability to activate the lck type I promoter. In vitro assays demonstrated specific binding of purified, bacterially expressed c-Myb DNA binding domain to the Myb (-59 to -54) site. Transient transfection assays using the site-directed mutants of the lck type I promoter in Jurkat cells revealed that mutation of the Myb (-59 to -54) site abolished transcriptional activity. In transiently transfected HeLa cells, the lck type I promoter was activated by co-transfection with a vector that expresses c-Myb. This c-Myb dependent activation required the presence of intact Myb and Ets binding sites, indicating that the expressed c-Myb functions with endogenous Ets related transcription factors to activate the lck type I promoter. This effect was further enhanced by co-transfection with vectors that express either Ets1 or Ets2. These results demonstrate that Myb and Ets related transcription factors synergistically activate the human lck type I promoter.
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