In Metazoans, transcription of most genes is driven by the use of multiple alternative promoters. Although the precise regulation of alternative promoters is important for proper gene expression, the mechanisms that mediates their differential utilization remains unclear. Here, we investigate how the two alternative promoters (P1, P2) that drive MYC
expression are regulated. We find that P1 and P2 can be differentially regulated across cell-types and that their selective usage is largely mediated by distal regulatory sequences. Moreover, we show that in colon carcinoma cells, Wnt-responsive enhancers preferentially upregulate transcription from the P1 promoter using reporter assays and in the context of the endogenous Wnt induction. In addition, multiple enhancer deletions using CRISPR/Cas9 corroborate the regulatory specificity of P1. Finally, we show that preferential activation between Wnt-responsive enhancers and the P1 promoter is influenced by the distinct core promoter elements that are present in the MYC
promoters. Taken together, our results provide new insight into how enhancers can specifically target alternative promoters and suggest that formation of these selective interactions could allow more precise combinatorial regulation of transcription initiation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited