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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Aug;268(16):4506-12.

Expression of the rabbit cytochrome P450 aromatase encoding gene uses alternative tissue-specific promoters.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie, UPRES EA 2608, USC INRA, CHU Côte de Nacre, Université de Caen, France.


The aim of the present study was to analyse the tissue-specific expression of various promoter-derived transcripts from the gene encoding rabbit aromatase cytochrome P450. A new promoter, named I.r, was identified, and promoters II and I.r were sequenced. Promoter I.r-derived transcripts were found in preovulatory granulosa cells, corpus luteum, placenta and adipose tissue. An alternative splice variant of this transcript was found with tissue-specific preference. Tissue-specific expression of promoter-derived variants was studied in the ovary before and after ovulation. While the level of promoter II-derived transcript decreased dramatically after ovulation, that of promoter I.r-derived transcript remained unchanged, indicating that promoter II and promoter I.r were not controlled by a single regulation system. The existence of this dual system of regulation suggests that the rabbit ovary could be a useful model to study the promoter-specific regulation of aromatase.

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