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Nature. 1985 May 23-29;315(6017):338-40.

Developmental regulation of a cloned adult beta-globin gene in transgenic mice.


At different stages of mammalian development, distinct embryonic, fetal and adult haemoglobins are synthesized in erythroid cells, a process termed haemoglobin switching. The cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling haemoglobin switching have been intensively studied, but remain poorly understood. To study the developmental regulation of globin gene expression, we have produced transgenic mice in which cloned globin genes are present in erythroid cells throughout development. Recently, we reported that adult mice in several transgenic lines carrying a hybrid mouse/human adult beta-globin gene, expressed the gene in a correct tissue-specific manner. This finding raised the question of whether an exogenous globin gene could also be subject to appropriate stage-specific regulation. We report here that the hybrid beta-globin gene, like the endogenous adult beta-globin genes, is inactive in yolk sac-derived embryonic erythroid cells and is expressed for the first time in fetal liver erythroid cells. Our results indicate that a stage-specific pattern of expression can be conferred by cis-acting regulatory elements closely linked to an adult beta-globin gene. They also suggest that the embryonic and adult beta-globin genes in the mouse are activated (or repressed) by distinct trans-acting regulatory factors present in embryonic, fetal and adult erythroid cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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