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J Biol Chem. 1999 May 7;274(19):13176-80.

Modulation of epidermal growth factor receptor gene transcription by a polymorphic dinucleotide repeat in intron 1.

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Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, University of Münster, 48129 Münster, Germany.


The influence of a highly polymorphic CA dinucleotide repeat in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene on transcription was examined with a quantitative nuclear run-off method. We could demonstrate that transcription of the EGFR gene is inhibited by approximately 80% in alleles with 21 CA repeats. In experiments with polymerase chain reaction products that spanned a region of more than 4,000 base pairs and contained the promoter, two enhancers, and the polymorphic region in the first intron of the gene, we found that transcription activity declines with increasing numbers of CA dinucleotides. In vivo pre-mRNA expression data from cultured cell lines support these findings, although other regulation mechanisms can outweigh this effect. In addition, we showed that under our experimental conditions RNA elongation terminates at a site closely downstream of the simple sequence repeat and that there are two separate major transcription start sites. Our results provide new insights in individually different EGFR gene expression and the role of the CA repeat in transcription of this proto-oncogene.

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