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J Biol Chem. 1995 Oct 27;270(43):25850-8.

Molecular cloning and characterization of the promoter for the Chinese hamster DNA topoisomerase II alpha gene.

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Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


To investigate the mechanisms governing the expression of DNA topoisomerase II alpha, the Chinese hamster topoisomerase II alpha gene has been cloned and the promoter region analyzed. There are several transcriptional start sites clustered in a region of 30 base pairs, with the major one being 102 nucleotides upstream from the ATG translation initiation site. Sequencing data reveal one GC box and a total of five inverted CCAAT elements (ICEs) within a region of 530 base pairs upstream from the major transcription start site. Sequence comparison between the human and Chinese hamster topoisomerase II alpha gene promoter regions shows a high degree of homology centered at the ICEs and GC box. In vitro DNase I footprinting results indicate protection by binding proteins at and around each ICE on both DNA strands. However, no obvious protection was observed for the GC box. Competition gel mobility shift assays with oligonucleotides containing either the wild-type or mutated ICE sequences suggest that identical or similar proteins specifically bind at each ICE, although with different affinities for individual ICE sequences. Chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assays employing nested 5'-deletions of the 5'-flanking sequence of the gene demonstrate that the sequence between -186 and +102, which contains three proximal ICEs, is sufficient for near wild-type level of promoter activity. When these three ICEs were gradually replaced with sequences which do not interact with the binding proteins, reducing promoter activity of the resulted constructs was observed. In conjunction with results from footprinting and gel mobility shift studies, the transient gene expression finding suggests that the ICEs are functionally important for the transcriptional regulation of the topoisomerase II alpha gene.

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