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Open Access Research article

Octamer-binding factor 6 (Oct-6/Pou3f1) is induced by interferon and contributes to dsRNA-mediated transcriptional responses

Elisabeth Hofmann1, Ursula Reichart1, Christian Gausterer15, Christian Guelly2, Dies Meijer3, Mathias Müller14 and Birgit Strobl1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2 Center for Medical Research, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

3 Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, ErasmusMC, Rotterdam, Netherlands

4 Biomodels Austria, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria

5 Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

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BMC Cell Biology 2010, 11:61  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-11-61

Published: 5 August 2010

Abstract

Background

Octamer-binding factor 6 (Oct-6, Pou3f1, SCIP, Tst-1) is a transcription factor of the Pit-Oct-Unc (POU) family. POU proteins regulate key developmental processes and have been identified from a diverse range of species. Oct-6 expression is described to be confined to the developing brain, Schwann cells, oligodendrocyte precursors, testes, and skin. Its function is primarily characterised in Schwann cells, where it is required for correctly timed transition to the myelinating state. In the present study, we report that Oct-6 is an interferon (IFN)-inducible protein and show for the first time expression in murine fibroblasts and macrophages.

Results

Oct-6 was induced by type I and type II IFN, but not by interleukin-6. Induction of Oct-6 after IFNβ treatment was mainly dependent on signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (Stat1) and partially on tyrosine kinase 2 (Tyk2). Chromatin immunopreciptitation experiments revealed binding of Stat1 to the Oct-6 promoter in a region around 500 bp upstream of the transcription start site, a region different from the downstream regulatory element involved in Schwann cell-specific Oct-6 expression. Oct-6 was also induced by dsRNA treatment and during viral infections, in both cases via autocrine/paracrine actions of IFNα/β. Using microarray and RT-qPCR, we furthermore show that Oct-6 is involved in the regulation of transcriptional responses to dsRNA, in particular in the gene regulation of serine/threonine protein kinase 40 (Stk40) and U7 snRNA-associated Sm-like protein Lsm10 (Lsm10).

Conclusion

Our data show that Oct-6 expression is not as restricted as previously assumed. Induction of Oct-6 by IFNs and viruses in at least two different cell types, and involvement of Oct-6 in gene regulation after dsRNA treatment, suggest novel functions of Oct-6 in innate immune responses.