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Gene. 1995 Dec 29;167(1-2):307-12.

Isolation and characterization of the promoter of the human 5'-nucleotidase (CD73)-encoding gene.

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  • 1Immunobiology and Cancer Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City 73104, USA.


Ecto-5'-nucleotidase (NT, CD73) is a purine salvage-pathway enzyme located on the surface of various cell types, including subsets of human lymphocytes and certain leukemias and lymphomas. In addition to purine salvage, NT has proposed roles in lymphocyte maturation and activation, and its expression has been associated with the resistance of some tumor cell lines to chemotherapeutic agents. To better understand the regulation of NT gene expression in normal lymphocyte development and the elevated expression seen in some drug-resistant tumor cell lines, we isolated NT genomic clones containing the promoter region. The genomic DNA upstream from the NT start codon is high in G+C content, with one cAMP-responsive element and five consensus Sp-1 binding sites, but no TATAA box. RNase protection assays identified a cluster of potential transcription start points (tsp). One tsp, at -63 bp relative to the start codon, was confirmed as authentic by 5'-RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) cloning. Transient transfection experiments utilizing luc as a reporter gene have demonstrated that a 155-bp NT genomic DNA segment inclusive of the tsp functions as a promoter in both NT+ (WI-L2 and MG) and NT- (Jurkat, Hela and Raji) cell lines. The addition of 5'-flanking sequences extending as far as -1.9 kb did not confer cell-type-specific expression to the core promoter. However, nuclear run-on analysis of nascent NT transcripts suggested that differential transcription initiation is at least partially responsible for the regulation of NT expression. Thus, additional information is necessary, either at the chromatin level, or within elements outside of the promoter region, to direct tissue-specific expression of NT.

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