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Addict Biol. 2011 Apr;16(2):334-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2010.00248.x. Epub 2010 Aug 23.

Cell-specific effects of variants of the 68-base pair tandem repeat on prodynorphin gene promoter activity.

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The Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases, The Rockefeller University, USA.


A polymorphic 68-bp tandem repeat has been identified within the promoter of the human prodynorphin (PDYN) gene. We found that this 68-bp repeat in the PDYN promoter occurs naturally up to five times. We studied the effect of the number of 68-bp repeats, and of a SNP (rs61761346) found within the repeat on PDYN gene promoter activity. Thirteen promoter forms, different naturally occurring combinations of repeats and the internal SNP, were cloned upstream of the luciferase reporter gene, transfected into human SK-N-SH, H69, or HEK293 cells. Cells were then stimulated with TPA or caffeine. We found cell-specific effects of the number of 68-bp repeats on the transcriptional activity of the PDYN promoter. In SK-N-SH and H69 cells, three or four repeats led to lower expression of luciferase than did one or two repeats. The opposite effect was found in HEK293 cells. The SNP also had an effect on PDYN gene expression in both SK-N-SH and H69 cells; promoter forms with the A allele had significantly higher expression than promoter forms with the G allele. These results further our understanding of the complex transcriptional regulation of the PDYN gene promoter.

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