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

Identification of positive and negative transcriptional regulatory elements of the rabbit angiotensin-converting enzyme gene.

The two tissue-specific mRNAs encoding the isozymes of rabbit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) are generated from the same gene by alternative choice of two transcription initiation sites 5.7 kb apart. In the current study, we have characterized the regulatory sites controlling the transcription of the larger pulmonary isozyme mRNA. For this purpose, reporter genes driven by varying lengths of upstream region of the ACE gene were transfected into ACE-producing cells. Our results demonstrated that the transcription of this gene is primarily driven by positive elements within the first 274 bp DNA upstream of the transcription initiation site. The reporter gene driven by this region was expressed in two ACE-producing cells but not in two ACE-non-producing cells thereby establishing its tissue specificity. Our experiments also revealed the existence of a strong negative element located between -692 and -610 positions. This element suppressed the expression of the reporter gene in a dose-dependent and position and orientation-independent fashion thus suggesting that it is a true silencer element. It could also repress the expression of a reporter gene driven by the heterologous strong promoter of the beta-actin gene. The repressing effects of the negative element could be partially overcome by cotransfecting the isolated negative element along with the reporter gene containing the negative element. This result was possibly due to the functional removal of a limiting trans-acting factor which binds to this element. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that the negative element can form several complexes with proteins present in the nuclear extract of an ACE-producing cell line. At least part of the negative element is strongly conserved in the upstream regions of the human and mouse ACE genes.[1]


  1. Identification of positive and negative transcriptional regulatory elements of the rabbit angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Goraya, T.Y., Kessler, S.P., Kumar, R.S., Douglas, J., Sen, G.C. Nucleic Acids Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
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