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

Analysis of the VMD2 promoter and implication of E-box binding factors in its regulation.

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is crucial for the normal development and function of retinal photo-receptors, and mutations in several genes that are preferentially expressed in the RPE have been shown to cause retinal degeneration. We analyzed the 5'-up-stream region of human VMD2, a gene that is preferentially expressed in the RPE and, when mutated, causes Best macular dystrophy. Transgenic mouse studies with VMD2 promoter/lacZ constructs demonstrated that a-253 to +38 bp fragment is sufficient to direct RPE-specific expression in the eye. Transient transfection assays using the D407 human RPE cell line with VMD2 promoter/luciferase reporter constructs identified two positive regulatory regions, -585 to -541 bp for high level expression and -56 to -42 bp for low level expression. Mutation of a canonical E-box located in the -56 to -42 bp region greatly diminished luciferase expression in D407 cells and abolished the bands shifted with bovine RPE nuclear extract in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Independently a candidate approach was used to select microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) for testing because it is expressed in the RPE and associated with RPE abnormalities when mutated. MITF-M significantly increased luciferase expression in D407 cells in an E-box-dependent manner. These studies define the VMD2 promoter region sufficient to drive RPE-specific expression in the eye, identify positive regulatory regions in vitro, and suggest that MITF as well as other E-box binding factors may act as positive regulators of VMD2 expression.[1]


  1. Analysis of the VMD2 promoter and implication of E-box binding factors in its regulation. Esumi, N., Oshima, Y., Li, Y., Campochiaro, P.A., Zack, D.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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