Implication of increased NRSF/REST binding activity in the mechanism of ethanol inhibition of neuronal differentiation
Article First Online: 15 June 2005 Received: 29 January 2005 Accepted: 17 April 2005 Summary.
The neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF), or repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST), is a transcription factor that mediates negative regulation of neuronal genes. NRSF represses multiple neuronal target genes in non-neuronal and neuronal precursor cells to regulate the proper timing of neuronal gene expression during neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ethanol and MEK inhibitor U0126 on the DNA binding activity of NRSF in neural stem cells prepared from rat embryos. Both ethanol and U0126 enhanced NRSF binding activity measured by the method based on the principal of electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and decreased neuronal differentiation in a concentration dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that ethanol suppressed phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) without affecting expression of total ERK. These results suggest that ethanol-induced potentiation of NRSF binding activity underlies the mechanism of ethanol inhibition of neuronal differentiation and decreased neurogenesis.
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