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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Mar 15;88(6):2573-7.

Involvement of the cell cycle-regulated nuclear factor HiNF-D in cell growth control of a human H4 histone gene during hepatic development in transgenic mice.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.


Regulation of the cell cycle-controlled histone gene promoter factor HiNF-D was examined in vivo. Proliferative activity was measured by DNA replication-dependent histone mRNA levels, and HiNF-D binding activity was found to correlate with cell proliferation in most tissues. Furthermore, HiNF-D is down-regulated during hepatic development, reflecting the onset of differentiation and quiescence. The contribution of transcription to histone gene expression was directly addressed in transgenic mice by using a set of fusion constructs containing a human H4 histone gene promoter linked to three different genes. Transgene expression in both fetal and adult mice paralleled endogenous mouse histone mRNA levels in most tissues, consistent with this promoter conferring developmental, cell growth-related transcriptional regulation. Our results suggest that HiNF-D is stringently regulated in vivo in relation to cell growth and support a primary role for HiNF-D in the proliferation-specific expression of H4 histone genes in the intact animal. Further, the data presented here provide an example in which apparent tissue specificity of gene expression reflects the proliferative state of various tissues and demonstrate that multiple levels of histone gene regulation are operative in vivo.

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