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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Mar;28(3):787-98.

Identification of a tissue- and differentiation stage-specific enhancer of the VpreB1 gene.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Lund, Sweden.


The VpreB and lambda 5 genes encode proteins that associate non-covalently to form the so-called surrogate light (SL) chain. The SL chain complexes with the immunoglobulin heavy chain to form the pre-B cell receptor, which plays a critical role in B cell development. Expression of the murine SL genes is regulated at the level of transcription initiation. Here, we show that a VpreB1 enhancer is located within the 356 bp immediately upstream of the coding sequence. Interestingly, this region exhibits 96% identity to the upstream region of VpreB2. Deletion mapping located the enhancer to between positions -214 and -47 (+1 is the 5'-most transcription initiation site). The enhancer is tissue and differentiation stage specific, and is composed of several DNA elements that are important for its activity. We also show that a transcription factor, early B cell factor, binds to two such elements, and that at least one of these sites is involved in determining enhancer activity.

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