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Biochemistry. 1991 Jan 8;30(1):89-97.

Structure and transcriptional regulation of protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit genes.

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Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Basel, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • Biochemistry 1991 May 28;30(21):5328.


The alpha and beta isoforms of the human protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit are encoded by distinct genes whose expression appears to be differentially regulated. To obtain a better understanding of the mechanism(s) that regulate(s) the expression of these two transcripts, we have cloned the genes encoding both isoforms. Both genes (each approximately 30 kbp) are composed of seven exons and six introns which intervene at identical locations, suggesting that they were derived from a common ancestral gene. However, the 5' upstream regions as well as the regions encoding the 5' and 3' untranslated sequences of each mRNA are different. The promoters of both genes are very G+C rich and lack the TATA and CCAAT sequences typical of many housekeeping genes. The C alpha gene contains several potential Sp1 binding sites and a potential cAMP-responsive element. Northern analysis using RNAs isolated from several different human cell lines showed that the steady-state C alpha mRNA was, in general, more abundant than the C beta mRNA. To determine whether the promoters regulate the differential C alpha and C beta RNA expression, they were fused to the reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyltransferase and transiently expressed in HeLa cells. Expression from the C alpha promoter was 7-10 times stronger than that from the C beta promoter, which paralleled the endogenous C alpha and C beta mRNA levels in HeLa cells. These data suggest that the steady-state levels of the C alpha and C beta mRNAs, are due, at least in part, to different promoter activities.

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