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Gene. 2001 Jan 24;263(1-2):285-92.

Molecular cloning of human and mouse DJ-1 genes and identification of Sp1-dependent activation of the human DJ-1 promoter.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Kita 12, Nishi 6, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan.


DJ-1 has been identified as a novel oncogene that transforms mouse NIH3T3 cells in cooperation with activated ras. Subsequently, two other groups have identified SP22 or CAP-1, rat homologs of human DJ-1, as a sperm protein targeted by some toxicants leading to male infertility, and another group has also reported that RS, the same as human DJ-1, is a component of an RNA-binding protein complex. To characterize the expression or functional importance of DJ-1, the genomic DNAs of both human and mouse DJ-1 were cloned and characterized. Both genomic DNAs comprise 7 exons spanning about 16-24 kb, in which 2-6 exons encode the DJ-1 protein. The human DJ-1 gene was mapped at chromosome 1p36.2-p36.3, a region that has been shown to be a hot spot of chromosome abnormalities in several tumor cells. To analyze the promoter of the human DJ-1 gene, a series of deletion constructs of the region upstream of exon 2 were linked to the luciferase gene, and their luciferase activities were measured in human HeLa cells. Of the many putative transcription regulatory sequences, the Sp1 site present at -100 from the transcription initiation site contributed to the major promoter activity, and Sp1 was identified as a protein binding to this site by a mobility shift assay using HeLa nuclear extract.

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