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Hemoglobin. 1989;13(6):523-41.

DNA sequences regulating human globin gene transcription in nondeletional hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Genetica e di Biologia dei Microrganismi Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.


Strong genetic evidence supports the idea that point mutations in the promoter of gamma-globin genes overexpressed in adult age [hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH)] are responsible for the observed phenotype. DNA binding sites for ubiquitous and/or erythroid specific nuclear proteins correlate in location with the positions of point mutations responsible for HPFH. The analysis of the effects of one of these mutations (-175 T greater than C) on in vitro binding of nuclear proteins and on the activity of the mutated promoter in transfection assays indicates that altered binding of the erythroid-specific protein NFE-1 may be responsible for increased activity of the mutated promoter. Other HPFH mutations close to the distal CCAAT box (-117 G greater than A and 13 nucleotide deletions, -114 to -102) have complex effects on in vitro binding of nuclear proteins; their only common effect is the loss of binding of the erythroid-specific factor NFE3. If mechanisms generating the HPFH phenotype are homogeneous, NFE3 might be a negatively acting factor; alternatively, heterogeneous mechanisms might operate and HPFH might additionally be related to loss of binding to the distal CCAAT box region of either NFE1 (-117 HPFH) or of the ubiquitous CCAAT displacement protein-CDP (13 nucleotides deletion). Finally, it is also proposed that increased activity of the HPFH promoters may secondarily cause decreased expression of the delta- and beta-globin genes in cis possibly by competition between gamma- and beta-globin promoters for interaction with common regulatory elements.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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