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Mol Cell Biol. Jun 1989; 9(6): 2396–2413.
PMCID: PMC362313

The upstream muscle-specific enhancer of the rat muscle creatine kinase gene is composed of multiple elements.


A series of constructs that links the rat muscle creatine kinase promoter to the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene was generated. These constructs were introduced into differentiating mouse C2C12 myogenic cells to localize sequences that are important for up-regulation of the creatine kinase gene during myogenic differentiation. A muscle-specific enhancer element responsible for induction of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression during myogenesis was localized to a 159-base-pair region from 1,031 to 1,190 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site. Analysis of transient expression experiments using promoters mutated by deletion indicated the presence of multiple functional domains within this muscle-specific regulatory element. A DNA fragment spanning this region was used in DNase I protection experiments. Nuclear extracts derived from C2 myotubes protected three regions (designated E1, E2, and E3) on this fragment from digestion, which indicated there may be three or more trans-acting factors that interact with the creatine kinase muscle enhancer. Gel retardation assays revealed that factors able to bind specifically to E1, E2, and E3 are present in a wide variety of tissues and cell types. Transient expression assays demonstrated that elements in regions E1 and E3, but not necessarily E2, are required for full enhancer activity.

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