Cell type-specific expression of the human ApoB gene is controlled by two cis-acting regulatory regions

H. K. Das, T. Leff, J. L. Breslow

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25 Scopus citations


The human apolipoprotein B (apoB) gene codes for two related proteins, apoB-100 and apoB-48. ApoB-100 is synthesized in the liver, is the major protein constituent of low density lipoprotein, and serves as the ligand for the LDL receptor. cis-acting DNA sequence elements required for hepatic specific apoB transcription were identified in hepatoma (HepG2) and epithelial carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines transfected with apoB/CAT (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase) hybrid constructions. HepG2 cells express the transfected apoB constructions at high levels relative to expression in HeLa cells. Mutational analysis of the 5'-flanking region of the apoB gene revealed the presence of positive and negative regulatory regions. The most distal of these regions, located from -261 to -128 (with respect to the start site of transcription), was found to have a roughly equivalent negative activity in both cell types. However, sequences located from -128 to -86 showed a positive activity in HepG2 cells and a negative activity in HeLa cells. Finally, a sequence element located between positions -86 and -70 was found to have a very strong positive effect in HepG2 cells and only a mild positive effect in HeLa cells. These two proximal regions located between -128 and -70 appear to act together to determine the cell type-specific expression of the apoB gene in HepG2 and HeLa cells. Using the gel mobility shift assay and the DNase I footprinting technique, we demonstrated that DNA binding proteins from HepG2 and mouse liver nuclear extracts interact with the crucial positive region located between -86 and -70. This region was also found to contain sequence elements similar to sequences found in the promoters of other apolipoprotein genes, as well as other genes that are expressed in the liver, suggesting that these genes may share some transcriptional regulatory components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11452-11458
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1988


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