Uranishi K et al.
Estrogen-related receptor beta (Esrrb) is expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells and is involved in self-renewal ability and pluripotency. Previously, we found that Dax1 is associated with Esrrb and represses its transcriptional activity. Further, the disruption of the Dax1-Esrrb interaction increases the expression of the extra-embryonic endoderm marker Gata6 in ES cells. Here, we investigated the influences of Esrrb and Dax1 on Gata6 expression. Esrrb overexpression in ES cells induced endogenous Gata6 mRNA and Gata6 promoter activity. In addition, the Gata6 promoter was found to contain the Esrrb recognition motifs ERRE1 and ERRE2, and the latter was the responsive element of Esrrb. Associations between ERRE2 and Esrrb were then confirmed by biotin DNA pulldown and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Subsequently, we showed that Esrrb activity at the Gata6 promoter was repressed by Dax1, and although Dax1 did not bind to ERRE2, it was associated with Esrrb, which directly binds to ERRE2. In addition, the transcriptional activity of Esrrb was enhanced by nuclear receptor co-activator 3 (Ncoa3), which has recently been shown to be a binding partner of Esrrb. Finally, we showed that Dax1 was associated with Ncoa3 and repressed its transcriptional activity. Taken together, the present study indicates that the Gata6 promoter is activated by Esrrb in association with Ncoa3, and Dax1 inhibited activities of Esrrb and Ncoa3, resulting maintenance of the undifferentiated status of ES cells.