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J Biol Chem. 1996 Jan 5;271(1):512-20.

Transcriptional analysis of the 5'-noncoding region of the human involucrin gene.

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  • 1Departamento de Genetica y Biologia Molecular, Centro de Investigacion y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico, Distrito Federal, Mexico.


Human involucrin whose gene transcription is directed by a 2456-nucleotide (nt) 5'-noncoding region is a structural component of the epithelial cornified layer. Transient transfection assays demonstrated that this region is transcriptionally active in multiplying keratinocytes and is enhanced by 2 mM CaCl2 treatment. Calcium-independent transcriptional activity and the interaction with the AP-1 transcriptional factor was located on the proximal part (nt -159 to -1) of the 5'-noncoding region. However, CaCl2 responsiveness was mapped to a distal 1185-nt fragment (nt -2456 to -1272). Moreover, this fragment potentiated the Herpes simplex thymidine kinase promoter in normal keratinocytes and is responsive to calcium treatment in a cell type-specific manner. Interestingly, the absence of a 491-nt fragment located between the two enhancer domains (nt -651 to -160) resulted in transcriptional activation in multiplying keratinocytes. This fragment interacts with AP-1 and the YY1 transcriptional silencer. It is concluded that human involucrin 5'-noncoding region contains at least three regulatory domains, a distal CaCl2-responsive enhancer, a putative transcriptional silencer (that interacts with AP-1 and YY1), and a proximal enhancer/promoter (that interacts with AP-1). Thus, this study demonstrates the presence of particular transcriptional factors can potentially regulate the human involucrin expression.

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