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J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Sep;3(9):2057-64.

A RUNX/AML-binding motif residing in a novel 13-bp DNA palindrome may determine the expression of the proximal promoter of the human uPA gene.

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1
Department of Biological Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is a multifunctional extracellular serine protease implicated in different events including fibrinolysis, tissue remodeling, and hematopoiesis. The human uPA gene contains a major promoter region at around 2000 bp upstream from the transcription start site (+1), and a second regulatory region spanning nucleotides -90/+32 within the proximal promoter. Here, an inspection of this region revealed a novel 13-bp palindrome residing at position +8/+20. Interestingly, the palindrome contains the DNA consensus-binding hexamer for the RUNX/AML family of transcription factors that play a role in hematopoiesis, leukemia, and several developmental processes. Measuring the expression for promoter-reporter constructs after transfection revealed that deletion of the palindrome abrogated most of the proximal promoter activity in 293A cell. Additionally, electrophoretic mobility shift assays have shown that the palindrome could bind the RUNX1 component in nuclear extracts of myeloid cell lines exclusively through its RUNX motif. The palindrome was found in five additional human genes, two of which (MYH11 and MLLT1) have been linked to chromosomal rearrangements leading to leukemia. The data presented here have implicated, for the first time, RUNX/AML in the regulation of the uPA gene. The significance of the novel palindrome regarding gene regulation through the RUNX motif deserves further investigation.

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