A dual color fluorescent reporter system for the real time detection of promoter activity.
ABSTRACT Understanding the mechanisms controlling transcription of a gene requires the identification and characterization of its cis-acting regulatory elements. A highly useful approach to the identification and characterization of cis-acting elements has been the systematic coupling of genomic fragments to reporter constructs, so called "promoter bashing". The expression from such reporters must be normalized for differences in transient transfection efficiency between cells and replicates. A novel dual color fluorescent reporter system to assay the promoter activity of a genomic DNA fragment of interest was established by cloning a Discosoma red fluorescent protein gene and a green fluorescent protein gene into a single vector, giving a system in which the ratio between red and green fluorescence is proportional to promoter activity. This system allows real time quantitative monitoring of promoter activity. We validated this approach by assaying the cis-acting regulatory potential of the peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma2 gene.
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ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling through beta-catenin and TCF maintains preadipocytes in an un-differentiated proliferative state; however, the molecular pathway has not been completely defined. By integrating gene expression microarray, chromatin immunoprecipitation-chip, and cell-based experimental approaches, we show that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling activates the expression of COUP-TFII which recruits the SMRT corepressor complex to the first introns located downstream from the first exons of both PPARgamma1 and gamma2 mRNAs. This maintains the local chromatin in a hypoacetylated state and represses PPARgamma gene expression to inhibit adipogenesis. Our experiments define the COUP-TFII/SMRT complex as a previously unappreciated component of the linear pathway that directly links Wnt/beta-catenin signaling to repression of PPARgamma gene expression and the inhibition of adipogenesis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2009; 106(14):5819-24. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Here we report the identification of a novel human opsin, melanopsin, that is expressed in cells of the mammalian inner retina. The human melanopsin gene consists of 10 exons and is mapped to chromosome 10q22. This chromosomal localization and gene structure differs significantly from that of other human opsins that typically have four to seven exons. A survey of 26 anatomical sites indicates that, in humans, melanopsin is expressed only in the eye. In situ hybridization histochemistry shows that melanopsin expression is restricted to cells within the ganglion and amacrine cell layers of the primate and murine retinas. Notably, expression is not observed in retinal photoreceptor cells, the opsin-containing cells of the outer retina that initiate vision. The unique inner retinal localization of melanopsin suggests that it is not involved in image formation but rather may mediate nonvisual photoreceptive tasks, such as the regulation of circadian rhythms and the acute suppression of pineal melatonin. The anatomical distribution of melanopsin-positive retinal cells is similar to the pattern of cells known to project from the retina to the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus, a primary circadian pacemaker.Journal of Neuroscience 02/2000; 20(2):600-5. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function in mammalian cells via translational repression or messenger RNA (mRNA) cleavage of target genes by base-pairing with 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of target mRNAs. Although miRNAs are involved in cell differentiation or organ development, posttranscritptional regulation of miRNA is not well understood. Here, we developed a dual-luciferase reporter system for monitoring in vivo endogenous transcription of primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) and also the mature miRNA activity simultaneously. miR23P639/Fluc plasmid carrying firefly luciferase (Fluc) under the control of miR-23a promoter was used to monitor the transcriptional level of miR-23a, and a cytomegalovirus (CMV)/Gluc/3xPT_mir23 recombinant containing 3 copies of the target sequence of miR-23a in the 3' UTR of Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) before the poly(A) tail was used to monitor the targeting activity of mature miR-23a. This dual-luciferase reporter system transfected to the same population of cells was used to monitor the increased transcriptional level of the pri-miR-23a reflected in the Fluc activity and the decreased Gluc activity affected by mature miR-23a action. Fluc and Gluc activities were also imaged in vivo using the respective substrates in grafted cells in the same nude mice using an in vivo bioluminescence imager. In HeLa cells and undifferentiated P19 cells, the increased Fluc activity representing the primary miR-23a transcript level reflected the resultant increase in repression of Gluc activity representing mature miR-23a activity. However, 293 cells showed Gluc activity was not repressed as much as Fluc activity was increased, suggesting a block in the posttranscriptional processing of miR-23a transcript in 293 cells. The miR-23a expression in P19 cells before and after neuronal differentiation with retinoic acid treatment showed an increase in Fluc activity and a concomitant decrease in Gluc activity in vitro. HeLa, 293 cells and undifferentiated P19 cells grafted to the nude mice showed exactly the same pattern of luciferase activities in vivo and in vitro. We developed a dual-luciferase reporter system to monitor expression and posttranscriptional regulation of a miR-23a in cells in vitro and in vivo. This dual-luciferase reporter system is intended to be used to monitor the expression and regulation of miRNAs noninvasively, especially to understand the differentiation of grafted cells in vivo.Journal of Nuclear Medicine 03/2008; 49(2):285-94. · 5.77 Impact Factor