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Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Jun;8(6):2620-7.

Systematic binding analysis of the insulin gene transcription control region: insulin and immunoglobulin enhancers utilize similar transactivators.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


The 5' regulatory region (-345 to +1) of the rat insulin I gene (Ins-I) was examined for binding to cellular factors with short oligodeoxynucleotide probes. Over 40 binding species were detected. The binding profiles were specific for each cell type studied. We characterized the factors binding two elements crucial for enhancer activity (the Nir and Far boxes) which bear sequence similarity to the microE1, microE2, and microE3 elements of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain enhancer. The Nir box binds three cellular factors that display preferential affinities for microE1, microE2, or microE3, and the Far box binds two factors related to microE2 or microE3. The insulin gene enhancer was mutated at the Nir box element to reflect the sequences of microE1, microE2, or microE3. Ins-microE2 was fully active, Ins-microE3 was partially active, and Ins-microE1 was inactive. Thus, factors similar or identical to nuclear factor NF-microE1, NF-microE2, or NF-microE3 may play a role in the activity of the insulin gene enhancer.

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