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Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Aug 25;16(16):7783-97.

The effects of HPFH mutations in the human gamma-globin promoter on binding of ubiquitous and erythroid specific nuclear factors.

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Dipartimento di Genetica e di Biologia dei Microrganismi, Università di Milano, Italy.


Genetic evidence indicates that single point mutations in the gamma-globin promoter may be the cause of high expression of the mutated gene in the adult period (Hereditary Persistence of Fetal Hemoglobin, HPFH). Here we show that one of these mutations characterized by a T----C substitution at position -175 in a conserved octamer (ATGCAAAT) sequence, abolishes the ability of a ubiquitous octamer binding nuclear protein to bind a gamma-globin promoter fragment containing the mutated sequence; however, the ability of two erythroid specific proteins to bind the same fragment is increased three to five fold. DMS interference and binding experiments with mutated fragments indicate that the ubiquitous protein recognizes the octamer sequence, while the erythroid specific proteins B2, B3 recognize flanking nucleotides. Competition experiments indicate that protein B2 corresponds to an erythroid-specific protein known to bind to a consensus GATAG sequence present at several locations in alpha, beta and gamma-globin genes. Although the distal CCAAT box region of the gamma-globin gene shows a related sequence, an oligonucleotide including this sequence does not show any ability to bind the above mentioned erythroid protein; instead, it binds a different erythroid specific protein, in addition to a ubiquitous protein. The -117 G----A mutation also known to cause HPFH, and mapping two nucleotides upstream from the CCAAT box, greatly decreases the binding of the erythroid-specific, but not that of the ubiquitous protein, to the CCAAT box region fragment.

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