The ubiquitous family of dimeric transcription factors AP-1 is made up of Fos and Jun family proteins. It has long been thought to operate principally at gene promoters and how it controls transcription is still ill-understood. The Fos family protein Fra-1 is overexpressed in triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) where it contributes to tumor aggressiveness. To address its transcriptional actions in TNBCs, we combined transcriptomics, ChIP-seqs, machine learning and NG Capture-C. Additionally, we studied its Fos family kin Fra-2 also expressed in TNBCs, albeit much less. Consistently with their pleiotropic effects, Fra-1 and Fra-2 up- and downregulate individually, together or redundantly many genes associated with a wide range of biological processes. Target gene regulation is principally due to binding of Fra-1 and Fra-2 at regulatory elements located distantly from cognate promoters where Fra-1 modulates the recruitment of the transcriptional co-regulator p300/CBP and where differences in AP-1 variant motif recognition can underlie preferential Fra-1- or Fra-2 bindings. Our work also shows no major role for Fra-1 in chromatin architecture control at target gene loci, but suggests collaboration between Fra-1-bound and -unbound enhancers within chromatin hubs sometimes including promoters for other Fra-1-regulated genes. Our work impacts our view of AP-1.
Nucleic Acids Res