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Dev Genet. 1995;17(3):280-90.

A Xenopus laevis gene encoding EF-1 alpha S, the somatic form of elongation factor 1 alpha: sequence, structure, and identification of regulatory elements required for embryonic transcription.

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Department of Zoology, University of Texas at Austin 78712, USA.


Transcription of the Xenopus laevis EF-1 alpha S gene commences at the mid-blastula stage of embryonic development and then continues constitutively in all somatic tissues. The EF-1 alpha S promoter is extremely active in the early Xenopus embryo where EF-1 alpha S transcripts account for as much as 40% of all new polyadenylated transcripts. We have isolated the Xenopus EF-1 alpha S gene and used microinjection techniques to identify promoter elements responsible for embryonic transcription. These in vivo expression studies have identified an enhancer fragment, located approximately 4.4 kb upstream of the transcription start site, that is required for maximum expression from the EF-1 alpha S promoter. The enhancer fragment contains both an octamer and a G/C box sequence, but mutation studies indicate that the octamer plays no significant role in regulation of EF-1 alpha S expression in the embryo. The presence of a G/C element in the enhancer and of multiple G/C boxes in the proximal promoter region suggests that the G/C box binding protein, Sp1, plays a major role in the developmental regulation of EF-1 alpha S promoter activity.

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