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Mol Endocrinol. 1993 Feb;7(2):258-72.

Structural organization and regulation of the gene for the androgen-dependent glutathione peroxidase-like protein specific to the mouse epididymis.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, Université Blaise Pascal, Aubière, France.


Genomic clones containing the gene for the glutathione peroxidase-like androgen-regulated murine epididymal protein of 24 kilodaltons (arMEP24) were isolated. A 9-kilobase DNA fragment was sequenced and found to contain the entire coding region of the gene, which is divided into five exons. The exact sizes and boundaries of the exon blocks were deduced by comparison with the cDNA sequence. One major and four weak transcription initiation sites in the epididymis were localized by primer extension. The promoter of the gene does not contain a conventional TATA box immediately up-stream of the start site; rather, the sequence TATCA occurs at residue -35. Two CAAT boxes in opposite orientation and two putative binding sites for the transcription factor Sp1 were identified up-stream of the TATA-like box. To localize the cis-acting sequences responsible for androgen regulation of expression, fragments of the arMEP24 gene promoter region were cloned in front of the luciferase (LUC) reporter gene and cotransfected with an androgen receptor expression vector into CV-1 cells in a transient assay. LUC activities of CV-1 cells grown in the presence of various concentrations of 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone were compared to LUC activities of untreated controls. The DNA fragment containing up to 200 nucleotides up-stream from the major transcription start site was sufficient for the full promoter activity, but not for the responsiveness to androgen induction. Depending on the 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone concentration, a 2- to 4-fold induction of LUC activity was found if a -1797 to -167 arMEP24 gene fragment was used linked to the reporter gene driven by either the homologous promoter or the heterologous thymidine kinase promoter. Two or three copies of the imperfect palindromic sequence TGTTGAgagAGAACA, found at position -896 to -882 in the gene and resembling the consensus steroid hormone-responsive element, are able to confer androgen regulation to the thymidine kinase promoter independently of their orientation. These findings support evidence that transcriptional regulation of the arMEP24 gene occurs via the sequence TGTTGAgagAGAACA. Homologies found in the sequence up-stream of the promoter with several putative binding sites for erythroid-specific trans-acting regulatory proteins are discussed. Finally, the arMEP24 gene is located by in situ hybridization in the [A2-A4] region of mouse chromosome 13.

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