C/EBP epsilon is a transcription factor involved in myeloid cell differentiation. Along with C/EBP-alpha, -beta, -gamma, -delta, and -zeta, C/EBP-epsilon belongs to the family of CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins that are implicated in control of growth and differentiation of several cell lineages in inflammation and stress response. We have previously shown that C/EBP-epsilon preferentially binds DNA as a heterodimer with other C/EBP family members such as C/EBP-delta, CHOP (C/EBP-zeta), and the b-zip family protein ATF4. In this study, we define the consensus binding sites for C/EBP-epsilon dimers and C/EBP-epsilon-ATF4 heterodimers. We show that the activated NFkappaB pathway promotes interaction of the C/EBP-epsilon subunit with its cognate DNA binding site via interaction with RelA. RelA-C/EBP interaction is enhanced by phosphorylation of threonine at amino acid 75 and results in increased DNA binding compared with the wild-type nonphosphorylated C/EBP both in vitro and in vivo. We suggest that interaction of the activated NFkappaB pathway and C/EBP-epsilon may be important in selective activation of a subset of C/EBP-epsilon-responsive genes.
Chumakov, A. M., Silla, A., Williamson, E. A., & Koeffler, H. P. (2007). Modulation of DNA binding properties of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein epsilon by heterodimer formation and interactions with NFkappaB pathway. Blood, 109(10), 4209–4219. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-09-031963