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J Mol Biol. 1993 Mar 5;230(1):77-89.

Human hnRNP protein A1 gene expression. Structural and functional characterization of the promoter.

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Istituto di Genetica Biochimica ed Evoluzionistica del C.N.R., Pavia, Italy.


hnRNP protein A1 (34 kDa, pl 9.5) is a prominent member of the family of proteins (hnRNP proteins) that associate with the nascent transcripts of RNA polymerase II and that accompany the hnRNA through the maturation process and the export to the cytoplasm. New evidence suggests an active and specific role for some of these proteins, including protein A1, in splicing and transport. Contrary to the other hnRNP proteins, the intracellular level of protein A1 was reported to change as a function of proliferation state and cell type. In this work we analyse the A1 gene expression in different cells under different growth and differentiation conditions. Proliferation dependent expression was observed in lymphocytes and fibroblasts while purified neurons express high A1 mRNA levels both in the proliferative (before birth) and in the quiescent (after birth) state. Transformed cell lines exhibit very high (proliferation independent) A1 mRNA levels compared to differentiated tissues. A structural and functional characterization of the A1 gene promoter was carried out by means of DNase I footprinting and CAT assays. The observed promoter features can account for both elevated and regulated mRNA transcription. At least 12 control elements are contained in the 734 nucleotides upstream of the transcription start site. Assays with the deleted and/or mutated promoter indicate a co-operation of multiple transcriptional elements, distributed over the entire promoter, in determining the overall activity and the response to proliferative stimuli (serum).

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