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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Mar;11(3):1353-9.

The ubiquitous transcription factor Oct-1 and the liver-specific factor HNF-1 are both required to activate transcription of a hepatitis B virus promoter.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco 94143-0506.


The liver-specific transcription factor HNF-1 activates transcription of several mammalian hepatocyte-specific genes. The hepatitis B virus preS1 promoter shows hepatocyte specificity, which has been ascribed to binding of HNF-1 to a cognate DNA sequence upstream of the TATA box. We show here that there is an adjacent site that binds the ubiquitous transcription factor Oct-1. Both the Oct-1 and HNF-1 sites are necessary for liver-specific transcription of the preS1 promoter, but neither site alone activates transcription. The Oct-1 site is also necessary for activation of the preS1 promoter in HeLa cells, expressing transfected HNF-1. Our results show that while Oct-1 is not restricted to hepatocytes, it nevertheless can play a critical role in the expression of a liver-specific gene.

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