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

Analysis of transcriptional stimulation by recombinant Oct proteins in a cell-free system.

The transactivation potential of several isoforms of the lymphoid-specific transcription factor Oct2 has been analyzed using in vitro transcription. Oct2 can stimulate transcription in B-cell nuclear extracts and in HeLa nuclear extracts depleted of the ubiquitous factor Oct1 by wheat germ lectin affinity chromatography. Activity is observed from both natural and synthetic promoters containing single or multiple copies of the octamer motif ATGCAAAT. Multimerization of this motif does not result in a synergistic transcriptional stimulation, but rather leads to a linear increase in activity. To analyze the various Oct2 isoforms, they were overexpressed in HeLa cells using recombinant vaccinia virus. Although all the isoforms bind similarly to the octamer sequence, they show clear differences in their ability to transactivate transcription. This ranges from a 2-fold stimulation for Oct2.3 to the almost 20-fold effect of the most potent variant Oct2. 5. In general the relative activity of the isoforms in vitro reflects that observed in vivo in cotransfection experiments. Interestingly the ubiquitous factor Oct1 is also an efficient activator of transcription in vitro, but only from promoters with multiple octamer motifs. Sarkosyl inhibition studies suggest that both Oct1 and Oct2 function in vitro by stabilizing preinitiation complexes without affecting the reinitiation rate of RNA polymerase II.[1]


  1. Analysis of transcriptional stimulation by recombinant Oct proteins in a cell-free system. Annweiler, A., Zwilling, S., Hipskind, R.A., Wirth, T. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
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