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Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Feb 1;31(3):1097-107.

Reciprocal regulation of expression of the human adenosine 5'-triphosphate binding cassette, sub-family A, transporter 2 (ABCA2) promoter by the early growth response-1 (EGR-1) and Sp-family transcription factors.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


The human ABCA2 transporter gene encodes a member of a large family of ATP-binding proteins that transport a variety of macromolecules across biological membranes. We have performed luciferase reporter gene assays with promoter constructs comprising the 5'-flanking region to identify cis-regulatory DNA elements and have mapped the minimal promoter region to 321 bp upstream of the translation start site. We have discovered a functional role for two GC-boxes located in the proximal promoter of the ABCA2 gene that contain overlapping sites for the EGR-1 and Sp1 transcription factors. We observed that oligonucleotides containing overlapping EGR-1/Sp1 sites bind the Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 transcription factors. When BE(2)-M17 cells were treated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, we observed inducible expression and binding of the EGR-1 transcription factor to the two GC-boxes. Transfection of Sp1, Sp3 or Sp4 expression constructs into Drosophila S2 induced a dose-dependent increase in transcriptional activation of the ABCA2 promoter, but transfection of EGR-1 alone failed to activate transcription. When increasing amounts of EGR-1 were transfected into the BE(2)-M17 neuroblastoma cells we observed a dose-dependent decrease in expression of the ABCA2 promoter, although expression of the endogenous ABCA2 gene increased following transfection of EGR-1.

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