Characterization of the DNase I hypersensitive site 3' of the human beta globin gene domain.
The members of the human beta globin gene family are flanked by strong DNase I hypersensitive sites. The collection of sites 5' to the epsilon globin gene is able to confer high levels of expression of linked globin genes, but a function has not been assigned to the site 3' to the beta globin gene (3'HS1). Our analysis of this DNase I super hypersensitive site shows that the region is composed of multiple DNase I sites. By examination of the DNA sequence, we have determined that the region is very A/T-rich and contains topoisomerase II recognition sequences, as well as several consensus binding motifs for GATA-1 and AP-1/NF-E2. Gel mobility shift assays indicate that the region can interact in vitro with GATA-1 and AP-1/NF-E2, and functional studies show that the region serves as a scaffold attachment region in both erythroid and nonerythroid cell lines. Whereas many of the physical features of 3'HS1 are shared by 5'HS2 (a component of the 5' locus control region), transient expression studies show that 3' HS1 does not share the erythroid-specific enhancer activity exhibited by 5'HS2.
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