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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Oct 1;88(19):8725-9.

Cell-type-specific and hypoxia-inducible expression of the human erythropoietin gene in transgenic mice.

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Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Synthesis of erythropoietin, the primary humoral regulator of erythropoiesis, in liver and kidney is inducible by anemia or hypoxia. Analysis of human erythropoietin gene expression in transgenic mice revealed that sequences located 6-14 kilobases 5' to the gene direct expression to the kidney, whereas sequences within the immediate 3'-flanking region control hepatocyte-specific expression. Human erythropoietin transcription initiation sites were differentially utilized in liver and kidney. Inducible transgene expression was precisely targeted to peritubular interstitial cells in the renal cortex that synthesize endogenous mouse erythropoietin. These studies demonstrate that multiple erythropoietin gene regulatory elements control cell-type-specific expression and inducibility by a fundamental physiologic stimulus, hypoxia.

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