Activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is a transcription factor with an important biological activity. ATF4 is induced by various stresses, such as endoplasmic reticulum stress, through the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α. ATF4 is also involved in lipid metabolism. In the present study, we performed a microarray experiment to identify new ATF4 target genes, particularly those involved in lipid metabolism, and identified C12orf39, CSTA, and CALCB as novel ATF4 target genes. An amino acid response element (AARE) as an ATF4-binding site is present in the promoter regions of these genes. In a detailed analysis using luciferase assay, we showed that ATF4 activated C12orf39 promoter activity and that this activation was diminished by deletion or mutation of the AARE sequence in the promoter region. Our results suggest that C12orf39, CSTA, and CALCB are novel ATF4 target genes and that C12orf39 promoter activity is activated by ATF4 through AARE.
Keywords: activating transcription factor 4(ATF4); endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); microarray.