Analysis of ATF3, a transcription factor induced by physiological stresses and modulated by gadd153/Chop10

Benjamin P C Chen, Curt D. Wolfgang, Tsonwin Hai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that ATF3, a member of the ATF/CREB family of transcription factors, is induced in a variety of stressed tissues: mechanically injured liver, toxin-injured liver, blood-deprived heart, and postseizure brain. We also demonstrate that an ATF3-interacting protein, gadd153/Chop10, forms a nonfunctional heterodimer with ATF3: the heterodimer, in contrast to the ATF3 homodimer, does not bind to the ATF/cyclic AMP response element consensus site and does not repress transcription. Interestingly, ATF3 and gadd153/Chop10 are expressed in inverse but overlapping manners during the liver's response to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4): the level of gadd153/Chop10 mRNA is high in the normal liver and greatly decreases upon CCl4 treatment; the level of ATF3 mRNA, on the other hand, is low in the normal liver and greatly increases upon CCl4 treatment. We hypothesize that in nonstressed liver, gadd153/Chop10 inhibits the limited amount of ATF3 by forming an inactive heterodimer with it, whereas in CCl4-injured liver, the synthesis of gadd153/Chop10 is repressed, allowing the induced ATF3 to function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1168
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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