Indexed on: 31 Mar '05Published on: 31 Mar '05Published in: Molecular and cellular biology
Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are a subfamily of basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper proteins that regulate lipid metabolism. We show novel evidence of the in vivo occurrence and subnuclear spatial localization of both exogenously expressed SREBP-1a and -2 homodimers and heterodimers obtained by two-photon imaging and spectroscopy fluorescence resonance energy transfer. SREBP-1a homodimers localize diffusely in the nucleus, whereas SREBP-2 homodimers and the SREBP-1a/SREBP-2 heterodimer localize predominantly to nuclear speckles or foci, with some cells showing a diffuse pattern. We also used tethered SREBP dimers to demonstrate that both homo- and heterodimeric SREBPs activate transcription in vivo. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that the punctate foci containing SREBP-2 are electron-dense nuclear bodies, similar or identical to structures containing the promyelocyte (PML) protein. Immunofluorescence studies suggest that a dynamic interplay exists between PML, as well as another component of the PML-containing nuclear body, SUMO-1, and SREBP-2 within these nuclear structures. These findings provide new insight into the overall process of transcriptional activation mediated by the SREBP family.