Retinoblastoma gene product activates expression of the human TGF-β2 gene through transcription factor ATF-2

Seong Jin Kim, Susanne Wagner, Fang Liu, Michael A. O'Reilly, Paul D. Robbins, Michael R. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


THE retinoblastoma susceptibility gene product (pRb) plays an important role in constraining cellular proliferation and in regulating the cell cycle1,2. The pRb inhibits transcription of genes involved in growth control (reviewed in ref. 3) and can regulate transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) gene expression4,5. TGF-β isoforms also down-regulate cellular proliferation6,7. To determine whether pRb also regulates expression of other TGF-β isoforms, we examined the effect of pRb on the expression of the human TGF-β2 gene. The human TGF-β2 promoter contains multiple elements including an ATF site, which is essential for basal promoter activity8. Here we report that pRb activates transcription of the human TGF-β2 gene. The promoter element responsible for pRb-mediated transcriptional regulation is a binding site for ATF proteins, an extensive transcription factor family9. We provide evidence that implicates ATF-2 in pRb-responsiveness. First, the ATF promoter element in the TGF-β2 gene is a high-affinity ATF-2-binding site. Second, a GAL4-ATF2 fusion protein can support pRb-mediated transcriptional activation of a promoter containing GAL4-binding sites. Third, ATF-2 in nuclear extracts can interact with pRb. Our results reveal a new mechanism by which pRb constrains cellular proliferation: by activating expression of the inhibitory growth factor, TGF-β2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-334
Number of pages4
Issue number6384
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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