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Blood. 1997 May 1;89(9):3457-69.

Phylogenetic footprinting of hypersensitive site 3 of the beta-globin locus control region.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0616, USA.


Hypersensitive site 3 (HS3) of the beta-like globin locus control region has been implicated as an important regulator of the beta-like globin genes, but the trans factors that bind HS3 have only been partially characterized. Using a five-species alignment (human, galago, rabbit, goat, and mouse) that represents 370 million years of evolution, we have identified 24 phylogenetic footprints in the HS3 core and surrounding regions. Probes corresponding to the human sequence at each footprint have been used in binding studies to identify the nuclear factors that bind within and near these conserved sequence elements. Among the high-affinity interactions observed were several binding sites for proteins with repressor activity, including YY1, CCAAT displacement protein, and G1/G2 complexes (uncharacterized putative repressors) and several binding sites for the stage selector protein. To complement this analysis, orthologous galago sequences were also used to derive probes and the pattern of proteins binding to human and galago probes was compared. Binding interactions differing between these two species could be responsible for the different expression patterns shown by the two gamma genes (galago gamma is embryonic; human gamma is fetal). Alternatively, binding interactions that are conserved in the two species may be important in the regulation of common expression patterns (eg, repression of gamma in adult life).

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