YY1 and FoxD3 regulate antiretroviral zinc finger protein OTK18 promoter activation induced by HIV-1 infection

James L. Buescher, Lindsey B. Martinez, Shinji Sato, Satoshi Okuyama, Tsuneya Ikezu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OTK18 is a C2H2 type zinc finger protein involved in the regulation of HIV-1 replication in human mononuclear phagocytes. Previously, we reported OTK18 expression in brain perivascular macrophages but not in microglia in HIV encephalitis brain. We have cloned the OTK18 promoter region proximal to the transcriptional start site and determined the region responsible (-884/+1) for the basal transcriptional activity in a microglia cell line. Sequential deletion mutation analyses reveal three important response elements: Yingyang-1 (YY1; -805/-777), an HIV-1 response element for promoter activation; FoxD3 (-743/-725), a negative regulatory element; and Ets response element (-725/-707), a basal transcriptional activity response element. HIV-1 infection-induced upregulation of YY1 and c-Ets-1 protein, binding to the promoter region as determined by immunoblotting and chromatin immunoprecipitation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, and induction of YY1 was also observed in virus-infected monocyte-derived macrophages. Silencing of FoxD3 and YY1 in the cell line by small interfering RNA duplexes specific to these molecules significantly up- and downregulated basal OTK18 promoter activity in FoxD3 and YY1 response element-dependent manners, respectively. On the other hand, infection of primary cultured human microglia significantly reduced YY1 expression and induced FoxD3 as determined by immunoblotting and reverse transcription real-time PCR. These data suggest that HIV-1 induces OTK18 expression through a YY1-mediated manner in human macrophages, although its gene expression is suppressed by FoxD3 upregulation and YY1 downregulation in human microglia. This mechanism may explain the perivascular macrophage-specific expression of OTK18 in HIV encephalitis brains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • HIV-1
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia
  • Promoter regulation
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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