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EMBO J. 1989 Apr;8(4):1145-51.

The human haptoglobin gene promoter: interleukin-6-responsive elements interact with a DNA-binding protein induced by interleukin-6.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, FRG.

Erratum in

  • EMBO J 1989 Jul;8(7):2121.


Transcription of the human haptoglobin (Hp) gene is induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the human hepatoma cell line Hep3B. Cis-acting elements responsible for this response are localized within the first 186 bp of the 5'-flanking region. Site-specific mutants of the Hp promoter fused to the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene were analysed by transient transfection into uninduced and IL-6-treated Hep3B cells. We identified three regions, A, B and C, defined by mutation, which are important for the IL-6 response. Band shift experiments using nuclear extracts from untreated or IL-6-treated cells revealed the presence of IL-6-inducible DNA binding activities when DNA fragments containing the A or the C sequences were used. Competition experiments showed that both sequences bind to the same nuclear factors. Polymers of oligonucleotides containing either the A or the C regions confer IL-6 responsiveness to a truncated SV40 promoter. The B region forms several complexes with specific DNA-binding proteins different from those which bind to the A and C region. The B region complexes are identical in nuclear extracts from IL-6-treated and untreated cells. While important for IL-6 induction in the context of the haptoglobin promoter, the B site does not confer IL-6 inducibility to the SV40 promoter. Our results indicate that the IL-6 response of the haptoglobin promoter is dependent on the presence of multiple, partly redundant, cis-acting elements.

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