GATA-4, GATA-5, and GATA-6 activate the rat liver fatty acid binding protein gene in concert with HNF-1α

Joyce K. Divine, Lora J. Staloch, Hanna Haveri, Christina M. Jacobsen, David B. Wilson, Markku Heikinheimo, Theodore C. Simon

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67 Scopus citations


Transcriptional regulation by GATA-4, GATA-5, and GATA-6 in intestine and liver was explored using a transgene constructed from the proximal promoter of the rat liver fatty acid binding protein gene (Fabpl). An immunohistochemical survey detected GATA-4 and GATA-6 in enterocytes, GATA-6 in hepatocytes, and GATA-5 in neither cell type in adult animals. In cell transfection assays, GATA-4 or GATA-5 but not GATA-6 activated the Fabpl transgene solely through the most proximal of three GATA binding sites in the Fabpl promoter. However, all three factors activated transgenes constructed from each Fabpl site upstream of a minimal viral promoter. GATA factors interact with hepatic nuclear factor (HNF)-1α, and the proximal Fabpl GATA site adjoins an HNF-1 site. GATA-4, GATA-5, or GATA-6 bounded to HNF-1α in solution, and all cooperated with HNF-1α to activate the Fabpl transgene. Mutagenizing all Fabpl GATA sites abrogated transgene activation by GATA factors, but GATA-4 activated the mutagenized transgene in the presence of HNF-1α. These in vitro results suggested GATA/HNF-1α interactions function in Fabpl regulation, and in vivo relevance was determined with subsequent experiments. In mice, the Fabpl transgene was active in enterocytes and hepatocytes, a transgene with mutagenized HNF-1 site was silent, and a transgene with mutagenized GATA sites had identical expression as the native transgene. Mice mosaic for biallelic Gata4 inactivation lost intestinal but not hepatic Fabpl expression in Gata4-deficient cells but not wild-type cells. These results demonstrate GATA-4 is critical for intestinal gene expression in vivo and suggest a specific GATA-4/HNF-1α physical and functional interaction in Fabpl activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1086-G1099
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 50-5
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Intestinal epithelium
  • Mouse


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