Sequences that direct rat tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression.
Investigation of neuroendocrine genes has revealed that transcription is regulated via multiple DNA binding sites, including the cyclic AMP response element (CRE). We show here that for the neuronal and chromaffin-specific gene tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a 70-bp region (-229 to -160) lacking the CRE is sufficient, in either orientation, to confer levels of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter expression equivalent to or greater than that conferred by 4.8 kb of the rat TH enhancer/promoter region. The 70-bp region contains potential binding sites for AP2, AP1, E2A/MyoD, and POU transcription factors, and functions when linked to the TH promoter, but not when joined to a heterologous RSV promoter. This demonstrates that promoter as well as enhancer elements are important for TH expression. In gel-shift assays, the 70-bp fragment forms a cell type-specific complex with nuclear extracts from TH-expressing cells. which is effectively competed by an oligonucleotide containing AP2, AP1, and E2A/MyoD (E box) sites, but not by one containing the POU site. These data suggest that the AP2, AP1, and/or E box sites may be involved in forming the cell-specific complex. Although it lacks an authentic CRE, the 70-bp region also mediated a twofold transcriptional response to forskolin, equivalent to that found with the endogenous gene. A different region (-60 to -29) bearing a consensus CRE mediated a sixfold increase in transcription in response to forskolin, but only minimally activated basal transcription from the TH promoter in the absence of forskolin.
Fung, BP; Yoon, SO; Chikaraishi, DM
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