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J Biol Chem. 2000 Aug 25;275(34):26649-60.

The nuclear matrix protein CDP represses hepatic transcription of the human cholesterol-7alpha hydroxylase gene.

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Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, California 94301, USA.


To date, the molecular mechanisms that govern hepatic-specific transcription of the human cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) gene are poorly understood. We recently reported that the region extending from -1888 to +46, which includes the promoter, is not capable of conferring expression to human CYP7A1 promoter lacZ transgenes in the livers of mice, but that expression is observed with transgenes containing the entire structural gene. To locate liver-specific elements in other segments of the human gene, DNase I hypersensitivity studies were performed with transcriptionally active, liver-derived HepG2 cells and with transcriptionally inactive HeLa cells. Three DNase I hypersensitivity sites were detected within the first intron of the human CYP7A1 gene, but only in HepG2 cells. Transient transfection experiments with HepG2 cells revealed a transcriptional repressor within intron 1. Five binding sites for the CAAT displacement protein (CDP) were detected within intron 1. Since CDP is a nuclear matrix protein, two methods were employed to localize nuclear matrix attachment sites within intron 1 of the human CYP7A1 gene. A matrix attachment site was found throughout the entirety of intron 1. Gel retardation experiments and cell transfection studies provided evidence for the repression mechanism. Repression is achieved by displacement by CDP of two hepatic activators, namely HNF-1alpha and C/EBPalpha, that bind to three different sites within intron 1. Additionally, CDP represses transactivation mediated by these two activators.

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