Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is a multifunctional protein that has important roles in inflammation and wound healing. Its aberrant regulation may contribute to many disease processes such as heart disease. The PAI-1 promoter is responsive to multiple inputs including cytokines, growth factors, steroids and oxidative stress. The statin drugs, atorvastatin, mevastatin and rosuvastatin, increased basal and stimulated expression of the PAI-1 promoter 3-fold. A statin-responsive, nuclear hormone response element was previously identified in the PAI-1 promoter, but it was incompletely characterized. We characterized this direct repeat (DR) of AGGTCA with a 3-nucleotide spacer at -269/-255 using deletion and directed mutagenesis. Deletion or mutation of this element increased basal transcription from the promoter suggesting that it repressed PAI-1 transcription in the unliganded state. The half-site spacing and the ligand specificity suggested that this might be a pregnane X receptor (PXR) responsive element. Computational molecular docking showed that atorvastatin, mevastatin and rosuvastatin were structurally compatible with the PXR ligand-binding pocket in its agonist conformation. Experiments with Gal4 DNA binding domain fusion proteins showed that Gal4-PXR was activated by statins while other DR + 3 binding nuclear receptor fusions were not. Overexpression of PXR further enhanced PAI-1 transcription in response to statins. Finally, ChIP experiments using Halo-tagged PXR and RXR demonstrated that both components of the PXR-RXR heterodimer bound to this region of the PAI-1 promoter.
Stanley, Frederick M; Linder, Kathryn M; and Cardozo, Timothy J, "Statins Increase Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 1 Gene Transcription through a Pregnane X Receptor Regulated Element." (2015). Department of Medical Genetics Faculty Papers. Paper 11.