Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1995 Nov;172(1):230-41.

Two cis elements collaborate to spatially repress transcription from a sea urchin promoter.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.
U CA, Berkeley


The expression pattern of many territory-specific genes in metazoan embryos is maintained by an active process of negative spatial regulation. However, the mechanism of this strategy of gene regulation is not well understood in any system. Here we show that reporter constructs containing regulatory sequence for the SM30-alpha gene of Stronglyocentrotus purpuratus are expressed in a pattern congruent with that of the endogenous SM30 gene(s), largely as a result of active transcriptional repression in cell lineages in which the gene is not normally expressed. Chloramphenicol acetyl transferase assays of deletion constructs from the 2600-bp upstream region showed that repressive elements were present in the region from -1628 to -300. In situ hybridization analysis showed that the spatial fidelity of expression was severely compromised when the region from -1628 to -300 was deleted. Two highly repetitive sequence motifs, (G/A/C)CCCCT and (T/C)(T/A/C)CTTTT(T/A/C), are present in the -1628 to -300 region. Representatives of these elements were analyzed by gel mobility shift experiments and were found to interact specifically with protein in crude nuclear extracts. When oligonucleotides containing either sequence element were co-injected with a correctly regulated reporter as potential competitors, the reporter was expressed in inappropriate cells. When composite oligonucleotides, containing both sequence elements, were fused to a misregulated reporter, the expression of the reporter in inappropriate cells was suppressed. Comparison of composite oligonucleotides with oligonucleotides containing single constituent elements show that both sequence elements are required for effective spatial regulation. Thus, both individual elements are required, but only a composite element containing both elements is sufficient to function as a tissue-specific repressive element.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center