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BMC Mol Biol. 2009 Dec 14;10:107. doi: 10.1186/1471-2199-10-107.

Nuclear factor I-A represses expression of the cell adhesion molecule L1.

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  • 1Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany.



The neural cell adhesion molecule L1 plays a crucial role in development and plasticity of the nervous system. Neural cells thus require precise control of L1 expression.


We identified a full binding site for nuclear factor I (NFI) transcription factors in the regulatory region of the mouse L1 gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) showed binding of nuclear factor I-A (NFI-A) to this site. Moreover, for a brain-specific isoform of NFI-A (NFI-A bs), we confirmed the interaction in vivo using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Reporter gene assays showed that in neuroblastoma cells, overexpression of NFI-A bs repressed L1 expression threefold.


Our findings suggest that NFI-A, in particular its brain-specific isoform, represses L1 gene expression, and might act as a second silencer of L1 in addition to the neural restrictive silencer factor (NRSF).

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