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Blood. 1999 Nov 15;94(10):3405-12.

Characterization of the mouse von Willebrand factor promoter.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Molecular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Expression of the von Willebrand factor (vWF) gene is restricted to the endothelial and megakaryocyte lineages. Within the endothelium, expression of vWF varies between different vascular beds. We have previously shown that the human vWF promoter spanning a region between -2182 (relative to the start site of transcription) and the end of the first intron contains information for environmentally responsive, vascular bed-specific expression in the heart, skeletal muscle, and brain. In the present study, we cloned the mouse vWF (mvWF) promoter and studied its function in cultured endothelial cells and transgenic mice. In transient transfection assays, the mvWF gene was found to be regulated by distinct mechanisms in different endothelial cell subtypes. In independent lines of transgenic mice, an mvWF promoter fragment containing DNA sequences between -2645 and the end of the first intron directed endothelial cell-specific expression in the microvascular beds of the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle as well as the endothelial lining of the aorta. In 1 line of mice, reporter gene activity was also detected in bone marrow megakaryocytes. Taken together, these findings suggest that both the mouse and human vWF promoters are regulated by vascular bed-specific mechanisms.

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