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

Regulation of expression of the phospholipid hydroperoxide/sperm nucleus glutathione peroxidase gene. Tissue-specific expression pattern and identification of functional cis- and trans-regulatory elements.

A sperm nucleus glutathione peroxidase (snGPx), which is closely related to the phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (phGPx), was recently discovered in late spermatids. Both GPx isoforms originate from a joint ph/snGPx gene, but their N-terminal peptides are encoded by alternative first exons. The expression of the two enzymes is differentially regulated in various cells, but little is known about the regulatory mechanisms. To explore the tissue-specific regulation of expression of the two isoenzymes, we first investigated their tissue distribution. Whereas phGPx is expressed at low levels in many organs, snGPx was only detected in testis, kidney, and in the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK293. Subcellular fractionation studies and immunoelectron microscopy revealed a cytosolic localization. To explore the mechanistic reasons for the differential expression pattern, we first tested the activity of the putative phGPx and snGPx promoters. The 5'-flanking region of the joint ph/snGPx gene exhibits strong promoter activity. In contrast, the putative snGPx promoter, which comprises 334 bp of intronic sequences, lacks major promoter activity. However, it strongly suppresses the activity of the ph/snGPx promoter. These data suggest negative regulatory elements in the first intron of the ph/snGPx gene, and DNase protection assays revealed the existence of several protein-binding sites. The corresponding trans-regulatory proteins (SP1, ERG1, GATA1, SREBP1, USF1, and CREBP1) were identified, and in vivo binding of EGR1 and SREBP1 was shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation. These data indicate for the first time somatic expression of the snGPx and provide evidence for the existence of intronic negative cis-regulatory elements in the ph/snGPx gene. Our failure to detect an alternative snGPx promoter suggests that transcription of the ph/snGPx gene may be regulated by a joint basic promoter. The decision, which GPx isoform is expressed in a given cell, appears to be made by alternative splicing of a joint primary transcript.[1]


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