Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) binds to other basic helix-loop-helix Per/ARNT/Sim (bHLH-PAS) proteins to form functional transcriptional complexes in order to regulate specific biological pathways. Here, we report a novel mechanism that upon EGF treatment, ARNT associated with non-bHLH-PAS transcription factors, c-Jun/Sp1, and regulated gene expression, through forming a c-Jun/ARNT/Sp1 complex and binding to the Sp1 site of the gene promoter. EGF-induced promoter activity and the mRNA level of 12(S)-lipoxygenase as well as the association between c-Jun and Sp1 were reduced by ARNT knockdown. Notably, dominant negative c-Jun mutant, TAM-67, blocked ARNT-mediated 12(S)-lipoxygenase expression, demonstrating that c-Jun was responsible for the transcriptional activation. Moreover, ARNT knockdown also inhibited other EGF-induced c-Jun/Sp1 mediated gene expression, such as p21WAF1/CIP1. Our results reveal a novel mechanism by which ARNT acts as a modulator to bridge the c-Jun/Sp1 interaction and plays a role in EGF-mediated gene expression under normoxic conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas