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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;923:154-65.

Regulation of the Clara cell secretory protein/uteroglobin promoter in lung.

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Department of Medical Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, NOVUM, Huddinge University Hospital, SE-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden.


Clara cell secretory protein/uteroglobin (CCSP/UG) is specifically expressed in the conducting airway epithelium of the lung in a differentiation-dependent manner. The proximal promoter region of the rodent CCSP/UG gene directs Clara cell specificity. Previously, it was shown that the forkhead transcription factors HNF-3 alpha and beta and the homeodomain factor TTF-1 are important transcription factors acting through this region, suggesting that they contribute to cell specificity of the CCSP/UG gene. Members of the C/EBP family of transcription factors can also interact with elements of the proximal rat and mouse CCSP/UG promoters. The onset of C/EBP alpha expression in Clara cells correlates with the strong increase of CCSP/UG expression. Thus, C/EBP alpha may play a crucial role for differentiation-dependent CCSP/UG expression. Transfection studies demonstrate that C/EBP alpha and TTF-1 can synergistically activate the murine CCSP/UG promoter. Altogether, these results suggest that C/EBP alpha, TTF-1, and HNF-3 determine the Clara cell-specific, differentiation-dependent expression of the CCSP/UG gene in murine lung. The relative importance of these three transcription factors, however, differs in rabbits and humans.

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