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J Biol Chem. 1993 Aug 25;268(24):18249-58.

Specific binding of heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein particle protein K to the human c-myc promoter, in vitro.

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Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


A homopurine/homopyrimidine-like sequence is found 100-150 base pairs upstream of the human c-myc promoter P1. This element, termed the CT-element, has been shown to augment expression from P1, and it serves as a positive transcriptional element when coupled to a heterologous promoter in vivo and in vitro. Synthetic oligonucleotides comprising this element were used to form DNA-protein complexes in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. By using conventional and affinity methods, 61- and 34-kDa proteins were shown to be associated with these complexes. Amino acid sequence analysis and immunological methods have identified these proteins as heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein particle (hnRNP) proteins K and A1. Surprisingly, hnRNP protein K binds to the pyrimidine-rich strand of the CT-element in a sequence-specific manner as well as to the double-stranded molecule. Cotransfection of vectors encoding hnRNP protein K in the sense or anti-sense orientations with reporter plasmids driven by wild-type or mutant CT-elements demonstrates that hnRNP protein K augments gene expression in a cis-element-dependent manner. Taken together, these results suggest that hnRNP protein K may play a role in the transcriptional regulation of the human c-myc gene.

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