Site-independent expression of the chicken beta A-globin gene in transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT The level of expression of exogenous genes carried by transgenic mice typically varies from mouse to mouse and can be quite low. This behaviour is attributed to the influence of the mouse chromatin near the site of transgene integration. This 'position effect' has been seen in transgenic mice carrying the human beta-globin gene. It was however, abolished when DNase I hypersensitive sites (normally found 65 to 44 kilobases (kb) upstream) were linked to the human beta-globin transgene. Thus, the upstream DNA (previously named a dominant control or locus activation region, now denoted a locus control region) conferred the ability to express human beta-globin at high levels dependent on copy number on every mouse carrying the construct. We report here an investigation of chicken beta A-globin gene expression in transgenic mice. A 4.5-kb fragment carrying the beta A-globin gene and its downstream enhancer, without any far upstream elements, is sufficient to ensure that every transgenic mouse expresses chicken globin messenger RNA at levels proportional to the transgene copy number. Thus the chicken DNA elements that allow position-independent expression can function in mice. In marked contrast to the human beta cluster, these elements are no farther than 2 kb from the gene. The location of the elements within the cluster demonstrates that position independence can be mediated by DNA that does not define a gene cluster boundary.
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ABSTRACT: At the present time research situates differential regulation of gene expression in an increasingly complex scenario based on interplay between genetic and epigenetic information networks, which need to be highly coordinated. Here we describe in a comparative way relevant concepts and models derived from studies on the chicken alpha- and beta-globin group of genes. We discuss models for globin switching and mechanisms for coordinated transcriptional activation. A comparative overview of globin genes chromatin structure, based on their genomic domain organization and epigenetic components is presented. We argue that the results of those studies and their integrative interpretation may contribute to our understanding of epigenetic abnormalities, from beta-thalassemias to human cancer. Finally we discuss the interdependency of genetic-epigenetic components and the need of their mutual consideration in order to visualize the regulation of gene expression in a more natural context and consequently better understand cell differentiation, development and cancer.Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology 08/2007; 147(3):750-60. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.10.037 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Locus Control Region (LCR) of the human beta globin gene domain is defined by four erythroid-specific DNasel hypersensitive sites (HSS) located upstream of this multigene cluster. The LCR confers copy number dependent high levels of erythroid specific expression to a linked transgene, independent of the site of integration. To assess the role of the individual hypersensitive sites of the LCR, we have localized HSS4 to a 280bp fragment that is functional both in murine erythroleukaemia (MEL) cells and in transgenic mice. This fragment coincides with the major area of hypersensitivity 'in vivo' and contains a number of DNasel footprints. Bandshift analysis shows that these footprints correspond to binding sites for the erythroid specific proteins GATA1 and NF-E2 and a number of ubiquitous proteins, including jun/fos, Sp1 and TEF2.Nucleic Acids Research 04/1991; 19(7):1413-1419. DOI:10.1093/nar/19.7.1413 · 9.11 Impact Factor