The 5' flanking region of the human alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1-AT) gene contains cis-acting signals for liver-specific expression and, when fused to a reporter gene, is able to drive the expression of this gene specifically in liver cells. Here we report the results of a functional dissection of the alpha 1-AT regulatory region. The expression of the bacterial chloramphenicol-transacetylase (CAT) gene, fused to a set of alpha 1-AT 5' flanking regions shortened by progressive deletions or mutated by base pair substitutions, has been compared by transfection in HepG2 (hepatocyte) and HeLa (non-hepatocyte) human cell lines. A minimal tissue-specific element has been identified between the nucleotides -137 and -37 (from the transcriptional start site). This DNA segment activates the heterologous SV40 promoter in hepatoma cell lines but not in HeLa cells. This element contains at least two regions referred to as the A (-125/-100) and B (-84/-70) domains, both essential for transcription. There are at least two other regulatory domains located upstream of the 'minimal element'; the most active of these is located between positions -261 and -210 from the cap site. These upstream elements activate the heterologous SV40 early promoter both in hepatoma cell lines and in HeLa cells. Upon fractionation of rat liver nuclear extracts two proteins have been identified, alpha 1TF-A and alpha 1TF-B, which bind specifically to the A and B domains respectively. Transcriptionally inactive A and B domain mutants are not able to bind these proteins.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology