Background: The architectural transcription factor High Mobility Group-A1 (HMGA1) binds to the minor groove of AT-rich DNA and forms transcription factor complexes ("enhanceosomes") that upregulate expression of select genes within the inflammatory cascade during critical illness syndromes such as acute lung injury (ALI). AT-rich regions of DNA surround transcription factor binding sites in genes critical for the inflammatory response. Minor groove binding drugs (MGBs), such as Distamycin A (Dist A), interfere with AT-rich region DNA binding in a sequence and conformation-specific manner, and HMGA1 is one of the few transcription factors whose binding is inhibited by MGBs. Objectives: To determine whether MGBs exert beneficial effects during endotoxemia through attenuating tissue inflammation via interfering with HMGA1-DNA binding and modulating expression of adhesion molecules. Methodology/Principal Findings: Administration of Dist A significantly decreased lung and liver inflammation during murine endotoxemia. In intravital microscopy studies, Dist A attenuated neutrophil-endothelial interactions in vivo following an inflammatory stimulus. Endotoxin induction of P-selectin expression in lung and liver tissue and promoter activity in endothelial cells was significantly reduced by Dist A, while E-selectin induction was not significantly affected. Moreover, Dist A disrupted formation of an inducible complex containing NF-κB that binds an AT-rich region of the P-selectin promoter. Transfection studies demonstrated a critical role for HMGA1 in facilitating cytokine and NF-κB induction of P-selectin promoter activity, and Dist A inhibited binding of HMGA1 to this AT-rich region of the P-selectin promoter in vivo. Conclusions/Significance: We describe a novel targeted approach in modulating lung and liver inflammation in vivo during murine endotoxemia through decreasing binding of HMGA1 to a distinct AT-rich region of the P-selectin promoter. These studies highlight the ability of MGBs to function as molecular tools for dissecting transcriptional mechanisms in vivo and suggest alternative treatment approaches for critical illness. © 2010 Baron et al.
Baron, R. M., Lopez-Guzman, S., Riascos, D. F., Macias, A. A., Layne, M. D., Cheng, G., … Perrella, M. A. (2010). Distamycin A inhibits HMGA1-binding to the P-selectin promoter and attenuates lung and liver inflammation during murine endotoxemia. PLoS ONE, 5(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010656