Functional characterization of the GDEP promoter and three enhancer elements in retinoblastoma and prostate cell lines

D. S. Cross, J. K. Burmester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


GDEP (gene differentially expressed in prostate cancer aka. PCAN1), a newly discovered gene with remarkable tissue specificity, is a promising candidate for regulatory analysis because it exhibits a high level of expression that is limited to two tissues, the retina and the prostate. As these two tissues have different origins and disparate functions it is likely that the regulatory mechanisms responsible for expression are not shared in their entirety. In addition, both the retina and prostate are prime targets for gene therapy. To date there have been no functional studies of the GDEP promoter. Therefore to understand tissue-specific expression of GDEP we constructed promoter expression constructs. To further characterize functional regulatory regions within the GDEP gene, we investigated potential regulatory components for tissue-specific expression in the 40 kb intron of this gene. We have identified a 1.5 kb prostate-specific promoter from the proximal region of the GDEP gene. A smaller 0.5 kb promoter exhibited minimal activity in the retinoblastoma cell line Y79, but not in the prostate cells tested. In addition we have investigated three enhancer elements located in the 40 kb intron of the GDEP gene. We identified two enhancer elements that increase reporter gene expression in prostate cell line LNCaP and one additional enhancer element that increases expression in the Y79 cell line approximately 8-fold making it a strong retinal-specific enhancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Enhancer
  • Gene expression
  • Gene therapy
  • Promoter
  • Prostate cancer
  • Retina


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