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The CXC receptor 4 (CXCR4) is required for various physiologic and pathologic processes in the eye, including stem cell trafficking, neuronal development, immune responses, and ocular neovascularization. Here, we used the rat retina models to determine the mechanisms driving CXCR4 transcription. The expression pattern of CXCR4 and nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1) were profiled in the rat retina during the course of development. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHiP) assay determined the transcriptional mechanism of CXCR4 in rat retina. A rat model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) that mimics retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury was established. Under either normoxic or hypoxic conditions, CXCR4 and NRF-1 expression in rat retinas was tracked by RT-PCR and Western analysis. Immunofluorescence staining localized CXCR4 and NRF-1. Both CXCR4 and NRF-1 were highly expressed in the neonatal rat retina, down-regulated in parallel, and silenced in fully developed retinas (1 month of age). ChIP assays revealed that NRF-1 was required for CXCR4 promoter activity in rat retinas. In the OIR rat model, retinal hypoxia induced up-regulation of CXCR4 and NRF-1 concurrently. Our findings suggest that NRF-1 regulates the expression of CXCR4 in normal retinal development and in pathologic processes of retinal hypoxia and neovascularization.


Pei Chen, Xiaoxiao Cai, Ying Yang, Zhao Chen, Jin Qiu, Na Yu, Mingjun Tang, Qiyun Wang, Jian Ge, Keming Yu, Jing Zhuang. Nuclear Respiratory Factor-1 (NRF-1) Regulates Transcription of the CXC Receptor 4 (CXCR4) in the Rat Retina. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2017 Sep 01;58(11):4662-4669

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PMID: 28903152

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