In vitro differentiated hamster Clara cells were used to study the effects of lung carcinogens on the regulation of the c-jun oncogene. Northern blot analysis revealed a decrease in the expression of jun transcripts 24 h following the exposure of Clara cells to the direct acting forms of benzo[a]pyrene (BPDE*) or 5-methylchrysene (5MeCDE). To determine whether this decrease was mediated at the transcriptional level, we have used CAT reporter constructs driven by nested deletions of the 5' non-coding regulatory region of the c-jun oncogene. While BPDE was capable of activating certain regulatory domains of the c-jun promoter, this activation was not observed with either 5MeCDE or the less active lung carcinogens BADE or 6MeCDE. Analysis of enhancer elements identified the SP1 target site as a strong silencer after BPDE treatment While positive regulatory element(s) mediating activation of c-jun by BPDE were localized within the promoter region up to -1639, further upstream sequences reduced this transcriptional activation. Thus, when the complete promoter region, up to -4500, was tested, no transcriptional activation was noted following BPDE treatment These observations suggest that the regulation of c-jun in Clara cells exposed to potent lung carcinogens is mediated at the post-transcriptional level, possibly by reducing the stability and, in turn, the half life of c-jun mRNA. Overall, in contrast to the response of cjun to numerous carcinogens and stress inducing agents noted in various other cell systems, our findings suggest the existence of a tissue-specific regulatory response for c-jun.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research