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Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Nov 11; 20(21): 5669–5676.
PMCID: PMC334401

In vitro and in vivo protein--DNA interactions on the rat erythroid-specific L' pyruvate kinase gene promoter.


The rat L-type pyruvate kinase gene possesses two alternative tissue-specific promoters, located 472 bp apart; the upstream L' promoter is erythroid-specific and the downstream L promoter is hepatocyte-specific. The erythroid-specific L' promoter is strongly active in fetal liver at day 17 of gestation, while its activity rapidly decreases thereafter. A L' promoter fragment spanning from nucleotide -320 to +10 with respect to the cap site is able to direct a weak but erythroid-specific transcription in a cell-free system. We have used DNAse I footprinting and gel mobility shift assays to characterize and identify the binding of nuclear factors from both 17-day-old fetal liver and adult liver nuclear extracts to a 320 bp fragment of the 5' flanking region of the gene in vitro. Two clusters of erythroid-specific interactions were found. The proximal cluster consists of two GATA-1 binding sites at -50 bp and -65 bp from the transcription initiation site, immediately downstream of a CACC motif and two G/C-rich elements. The distal cluster of cis-elements, located 130 bp upstream, corresponds to two GATA-1 sequences. These two sequences overlap NF1 motifs interacting with ubiquitous NF1 transcriptional factors in presence of adult hepatic extracts. Furthermore, we have examined in vivo protein-DNA interactions by DMS footprinting in livers of 17-day-old rat fetuses and adult rats. We found that the sites characterized in vitro are occupied in vivo. Therefore, in adult liver the L' promoter, although inactive, nevertheless interacts with ubiquitous factors.

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