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Biochemistry. 1996 Aug 27;35(34):11160-9.

Scaffold/matrix-attached regions act upon transcription in a context-dependent manner.

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  • 1Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH, Genregulation und Differenzierung/Genetik von Eukaryonten, Braunschweig, Germany.


Scaffold/matrix-attached regions (S/MARs) are cis-acting elements with a function outside transcribed regions and in introns. Although they usually augment transcriptional rates, their action is highly context-dependent. We cloned an 800 bp S/MAR element from the upstream border of the human interferon-beta domain at various positions within a transcribed region of 4.3 kb. By use of retroviral gene transfer, the vector could be integrated into target cells as a single copy enabling a rigorous definition of the distance between the S/MAR and the transcriptional start site. At a distance of about 4 kb, the S/MAR supported transcriptional initiation, whereas at distances below 2.5 kb, transcription was essentially shut off. Controls proved the functionally of all constructs in the transient expression phase and ruled out any influence of S/MAR position on transcript stability. Moreover, no pausing or premature termination was observed within these elements. We suggest that the protein binding partners of S/MARs change according to the topological status, explaining these divergent S/MAR effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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