High Mobility Group Protein-B1 (HMGB1) interacts with Sterol Regulatory Element-binding Proteins (SREBPs) to Enhance Their DNA Binding.

Naoya Yahagi, Yuho Najima, Yoshinori Takeuchi, Ken Ohashi, Ryozo Nagai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuhiro Yamada, Jun-ichi Osuga, Hitoshi Shimano, Takashi Kadowaki

Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are transcription factors that are predominately involved in the regulation of lipogenic and cholesterogenic enzyme gene expression. To identify unknown proteins that interact with SREBP, we screened nuclear extract proteins with 35S-labeled SREBP-1 bait in Far Western blotting analysis. Using this approach, high mobility group protein-B1 (HMGB1), a chromosomal protein, was identified as a novel SREBP interacting protein. In vitro glutathione S-transferase pulldown and in vivo coimmunoprecipitation studies confirmed an interaction between HMGB1 and both SREBP-1 and -2. The protein-protein interaction was mediated through the helix-loop-helix domain of SREBP-1, residues 309-344, and the A box of HMGB1. Furthermore, electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that HMGB1 enhances SREBPs binding to their cognate DNA sequences. Moreover, luciferase reporter analyses including RNA interference technique showed that HMGB1 potentiates the transcriptional activities of SREBP in cultured cells. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that HMGB1 is potentially involved in the regulation of lipogenic and cholesterogenic gene transcription.