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

Regulation of parathyroid hormone-related peptide ( PTHrP) gene transcription: cell- and tissue-specific promoter utilization mediated by multiple positive and negative cis-acting DNA elements.

The gene encoding PTH-related peptide ( PTHrP) is expressed in a wide variety of normal and neoplastic tissues. Increased PTHrP gene expression in and secretion of PTHrP by specific tumors directly contributes to the development of malignancy-associated hypercalcemia in vivo. To define the genetic elements important for the control of PTHrP gene transcription, we used the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to delineate the control of promoter utilization and the splicing patterns of the exons encoding 5'-untranslated sequences. The majority of normal and neoplastic human tissues contained PTHrP mRNA transcripts initiating from both the up-stream (P1) and down-stream (P2) human PTHrP promoters. Furthermore, the downstream promoter was preferentially used by a factor of more than 30-fold. P1-initiated transcripts contained RNA species both with and without exon 2 ( E2) sequences, except in the pancreas, adrenal, and stomach, where E2-containing sequences predominated. The transcriptional activities of P1, P2, and P1 + P2 were assessed by transfection of the corresponding PTHrP-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) fusion genes into heterologous cell lines. Fusion genes containing P2 sequences were more transcriptionally active than fusion genes containing P1 sequences. The transcriptional activities of P1 + P2 in their natural tandem orientation were additive in rat keratinocytes and human JEG choriocarcinoma cells. In contrast, the activity of P1 + P2 was less than that of P2 alone in hamster BHK fibroblasts and InR1-G9 cells, and human HeLa cells. Analysis of the transcriptional properties of 5'-deleted human PTHrP-CAT constructs revealed the presence of multiple positive and negative DNA sequences (within both P1 and P2) functionally important for human PTHrP gene transcription. Distinct positive and negative DNA elements were also identified from analysis of 5'-deleted rat PTHrP-CAT fusion genes. The results of these experiments provide evidence for cell- and tissue-specific utilization of 1) distinct human PTHrP transcription start sites and specific patterns of 5'-exon splicing and 2) multiple positive and negative DNA control elements, important for the regulation of human and rat PTHrP gene transcription.[1]


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