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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 May;11(5):2558-66.

Transcriptional role of a conserved GATA-1 site in the human epsilon-globin gene promoter.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The epsilon-globin gene is the first of the human beta-like globin genes to be expressed during development. We have analyzed protein-DNA interactions in the epsilon-globin promoter region by DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift experiments using nuclear extracts from K562 human erythroid cells and from nonerythroid HeLa cells. A restricted set of ubiquitous proteins, including Sp1, bound to regions of the promoter including the CACCC and CCAAT sites. Three interactions, at positions -213, -165, and +3 relative to the transcription start site, were erythroid specific and corresponded to binding of GATA-1, a transcription factor highly restricted to the erythroid lineage. Interestingly, the GATA-1 site at -165 has been conserved in the promoters of 10 mammalian embryonic globin genes. Point mutations demonstrate that GATA-1 binding to this site is necessary for interaction with an erythroid-specific enhancer but that in the absence of an enhancer, GATA-1 does not increase transcription.

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