Our aim is to upregulate the expression level of the dystrophin related gene utrophin in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, thus complementing the lack of dystrophin functions. To this end, we have engineered synthetic zinc finger based transcription factors. We have previously shown that the artificial three-zinc finger protein named Jazz fused with the Vp16 activation domain, is able to bind utrophin promoter A and to increase the endogenous level of utrophin in transgenic mice. Here, we report on an innovative artificial protein, named CJ7, that consists of Jazz DNA binding domain fused to a novel activation domain derived from the regulatory multivalent adaptor protein Che-1/AATF. This transcriptional activation domain is 100 amino acids in size and it is very powerful as compared to the Vp16 activation domain. We show that CJ7 protein efficiently promotes transcription and accumulation of the acetylated form of histone H3 on the genomic utrophin promoter locus.
- Activation domain
- Artificial transcription factor
- Zinc finger
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health