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Genomics. 2000 Jan 15;63(2):173-80.

The alpha-fetoprotein promoter is the target of Afr1-mediated postnatal repression.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 800 Rose Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0298, USA.


The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) gene is transcribed at high levels in the fetal liver and is repressed at birth, leading to low but detectable levels of AFP mRNA in the adult liver. This repression is regulated, in part, by a locus that is unlinked to AFP called Alpha-fetoprotein regulator 1 (Afr1). Previous studies showed that Afr1 regulation is independent of the AFP enhancers but requires the 1-kb AFP promoter/repressor region. Here, we demonstrate that a transgene with the 250-bp AFP promoter region linked to AFP enhancer element EII is expressed in the fetal liver and is postnatally repressed. In addition, this transgene is regulated by Afr1. These data indicate that the promoter is involved in postnatal AFP repression. Furthermore, we provide a high-resolution map of the Afr1 locus on mouse chromosome 15.

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