Gene regulation during placenta development: Murine adenosine deaminase as a model to study placenta specific expression

Bryan Marc Schaubach, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The formation of the placenta is one of the first and most important developmental events that occur in early mammalian embryogenesis. Even given this importance of the placenta, the academic community has largely ignored studying gene regulation during the development and maturation of the placenta. For this reason, an in-depth study of gene regulation in the trophoblast layer of the placenta using murine Adenosine Deaminase (Ada) as a model system has been undertaken. It has been determined that Ada is highly expressed in the placenta and is critical for embryo development. Dr. Kellems' laboratory has previously described a 1.8 kb fragment of the Ada 5 ′ flanking region that is capable of directing trophoblast specific expression in a transgenic model system. Preliminary studies have demonstrated several critical portions of this fragment that are necessary for the correct tissue specific expression in the placenta. My first specific aim was to elucidate the trans factor binding to one of these sequences, the FP3. Through electromobility shift assays (EMSA), the 30 bp FP3 was narrowed to a 5 bp sequence which computer databases predicted bound to Acute Myeloid Leukemia 1 (AML-1). This was confirmed by supershift analysis. The functional importance of this binding was demonstrated by a transgenic approach. A significant difference in expression of the reporter in the placenta was seen when the 5 bp sequence was mutated. This finding is a novel use for the AML-1 transcription factor which is the DNA binding portion of the heterodimer Core Binding Protein (CBP). The 5′ 240 bp region has also been demonstrated to contain functionally significant sequence. Through EMSA assays and computer predictions, the area has been narrowed to two pertinent regions that are predicted to contain GATA binding motifs.

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Recommended Citation

Schaubach, Bryan Marc, "Gene regulation during placenta development: Murine adenosine deaminase as a model to study placenta specific expression" (2003). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3115912.