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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 May;33(5):525-40.

In vitro analysis of Bombyx mori early chorion gene regulation: stage specific expression involves interactions with C/EBP-like and GATA factors.

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  • 1University of Athens, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Panepistimiopolis, Athens 15701, Greece.


This is the first attempt to identify regulatory elements that are involved in early choriogenesis of the silkworm Bombyx mori. A new cis element in the promoter region of five early chorion genes was identified. The consensus sequence of this element matches the consensus of the C/EBP DNA binding site. Moreover, this sequence interacts with a 70 kD protein (pX2) present in follicular nuclear extracts and complex formation exhibits early developmental specificity. There is strong evidence that this factor belongs to the C/EBP family. Surprisingly, the same protein binds with the same developmental specificity to a similar sequence of a late chorion gene promoter, which has been previously defined as the binding site for a putative late specific factor, BCFII. The possibility that pX2 and BCFII are isoforms or modifications of the same protein factor, which is presumably able to bind to the highly similar sequence elements of both early and late genes, is discussed. A hypothesis involving protein-protein interactions between C/EBP (pX2/BCFII) and GATA during choriogenesis is presented to explain the temporal specificity of chorion genes.

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