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J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov 6;273(45):29838-46.

A nuclear matrix attachment region upstream of the T cell receptor beta gene enhancer binds Cux/CDP and SATB1 and modulates enhancer-dependent reporter gene expression but not endogenous gene expression.

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Center for Cancer Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We have previously identified a DNase I-hypersensitive site in the T cell receptor beta locus, designated HS1, that is located 400 base pairs upstream of the transcriptional enhancer Ebeta and is induced during CD4(-)CD8(-) to CD4(+)CD8(+) thymocyte differentiation. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we show that HS1 induction correlates with increased binding of two nuclear factors, Cux/CDP and SATB1, to a 170-base pair DNA sequence within HS1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HS1 is a nuclear matrix attachment region, referred to as MARbeta. These findings demonstrate that an analogous organization of cis-regulatory elements in which a nuclear matrix attachment region is in close proximity to an enhancer is conserved in the immunoglobulin and T cell receptor loci. In addition, we show that MARbeta represses Ebeta-dependent reporter gene expression in transient transfection assays. However, the targeted deletion of MARbeta from the endogenous locus does not change T cell receptor beta gene transcription in developing T cells. These contrasting results suggest a potential pitfall of functional studies of nuclear matrix attachment regions outside of their natural chromosomal context.

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