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Mol Cell Biol. 1998 Jan;18(1):442-9.

Isolation of estrogen-responsive genes with a CpG island library.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Saitama Medical School, Japan.


In order to isolate novel estrogen-responsive genes, we utilized a CpG island library in which the regulatory regions of genes are enriched. CpG islands were screened for the ability to bind to a recombinant estrogen receptor protein with a genomic binding site (GBS) cloning method. Six CpG islands were selected, and they contained perfect, imperfect, and/or multiple half-palindromic estrogen-responsive elements (EREs). Northern blot analysis of various human cells showed that all these genomic fragments hybridized to specific mRNAs, suggesting that the genes associated with these EREs might be transcribed in human cells. Then cDNAs associated with two of them, EB1 and EB9, were isolated from libraries of human placenta and MCF-7 cells derived from a human breast cancer, respectively. Both transcripts were increased by estrogen in MCF-7 cells. The increase is inhibited by actinomycin D but not by cycloheximide, indicating that no protein synthesis is required for the up-regulation. The cDNA associated with EB1 encodes a 114-amino-acid protein similar to the cytochrome c oxidase subunit VIIa, named COX7RP (cytochrome c oxidase subunit VII-related protein). The cDNA associated with EB9 is homologous only to an express sequence tag and was named EBAG9 (estrogen receptor-binding fragment-associated gene 9). The palindromic ERE of EB1 is located in an intron of COX7RP, and that of EB9 is in the 5' upstream region of the cDNA. Both EREs had significant estrogen-dependent enhancer activities in a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay, when they were inserted into the 5' upstream region of the chicken beta-globin promoter. We therefore propose that the CpG-GBS method described here for isolation of the DNA binding site from the CpG island library would be useful for identification of novel target genes of certain transcription factors.

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