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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Functional conservation of regulatory elements in the pdx-1 gene: PDX-1 and hepatocyte nuclear factor 3beta transcription factors mediate beta-cell-specific expression.

The PDX-1 transcription factor plays a key role in pancreatic development and in the regulation of the insulin gene in the adult beta cell. As its functions appear to be similar in humans and mice, we analyzed the functional conservation of homologous sequences important for the maintenance and the cell-specific regulation of the pdx-1 gene. Apart from the proximal promoter region, three highly homologous (PH1 to PH3) sequences were apparent in the human and mouse 5' flanking regions of the gene. By transient transfections in beta and non-beta cells, we show that mainly PH1 and PH2 preferentially confer beta-cell-specific activation on a heterologous promoter. DNase I footprinting and binding analyses revealed that both bind to and are transactivated by hepatocyte nuclear factor 3beta ( HNF-3beta). Furthermore, the PH1 enhancer element also binds the PDX-1 transcription factor itself, which acts cooperatively with adjacent HNF-3beta to regulate its transcriptional potency. This finding suggests a possible autoregulatory loop as a mechanism for PDX-1 to control its own expression.[1]


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