Expression regulation of AP -2 gamma gene

Mei Li, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


AP-2γ is a member of the AP-2 transcription factor family, is highly enriched in the trophoblast cell lineage, and is essential for placenta development. In an effort to identify factors regulating AP-2γ gene expression we isolated and characterized the promoter and 5′ flanking region of the mouse and human AP-2γ genes. The transcription start site of the mouse AP-2γ gene was mapped by primer extension and 5′ RACE. Transient gene transfer studies showed that basal promoter activity resides within a highly conserved ∼200 by DNA sequence located immediately upstream of the transcription start site. The conserved region is highly GC-rich and lacks typical TATA or CCAAT boxes. Multiple potential Sp and AP-2 binding sites are clustered within this region. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that Sp1 and Sp3 bind to three sites in the promoter region of the mouse AP-2γ gene. Combined mutation of the three putative Sp sites reduced promoter activity by 80% in trophoblast and non-trophoblast cells, demonstrating the functional importance of these sites in AP-2γ gene expression. Mutational analysis of the 5′-flanking region revealed a 117-bp positive regulatory region of the mouse AP-2γ gene located between −5700 and −5583 upstream of the transcription start site. This 117-bp positive regulatory element provided approximately 7-fold enhancement of reporter gene expression in cultured trophoblast cells. A C/EBP-Sp1 transcription factor-binding module is located in this DNA sequence. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and C/EBP bind to the enhancer element. Mutation of each protein-binding site reduced the enhanced expression significantly. Mutagenesis assays showed that two other protein-binding sites also contribute to the enhancer activity. In summary, we have shown that Sp1 and Sp3 bind to cis-regulatory elements located in the promoter region and contribute to basal promoter activity. We have identified a 117-bp positive regulatory element of AP-2γ gene, and we have shown that Sp and C/EBP proteins bind to the cis -regulatory elements and contribute to the enhanced gene expression.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Li, Mei, "Expression regulation of AP -2 gamma gene" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3168442.