MoBio Response Elements Chapter 4

Response elements are the recognition sites of certain transcription factors (Table 4-C-4). Most of them are located within 1 kb from the transcriptional start site.

Table 4-C-4. Eukaryotic response elements.

Response Element Transcription Factor Consensus Sequence
GRE Glucocorticoid receptor AGAACANNNTGTTCT
HSE Heat shock factor GAANNTTCNNGAA
SRE Serum response factor CC(A/T)6GG

*(A/T)6 means six A or T; N = any.

The cAMP response element (CRE) interacts with CREB (CRE-binding protein), which is regulated by cAMP (see Figure 6-F-1).

Estrogen response element (ERE) and glucocorticoid response element (GRE) are the recognition sites of estrogen receptor and glucocorticoid receptor, respectively. Note that hormones are not transcription factors, but many of their receptors are. Figure 4-C-5 shows the domain structures of a few steroid receptors.


Figure 4-C-5. The domain structure of steroid receptor superfamily. Its ligand binding domain binds to the steroid and the DNA binding domain interacts with DNA to regulate gene transcription.

Heat shock response element (HSE) is present in heat shock protein genes. In response to external stress (e.g. high temperature), the heat shock factor (HSF) will interact with HSE, stimulating expression of heat shock proteins.

Serum response element (SRE) binds to serum response factor (SRF), which can be activated by many growth factors in serum. The Fos subunit of AP-1 is encoded by a gene containing SRE. Fos is known to play an important role in cell cycle progression.