ABSTRACT: The gene for Menkes disease codes for a Cu-transporting ATPase that regulates Cu homeostasis in all tissues with the exception of adult liver. The basis for developmental or tissue-specific regulation at present is not understood. To learn if the regulation is associated with the promoter, we cloned and sequenced a 2.2 kb genomic DNA fragment flanking exon 1. When ligated into a pGL2 luciferase reporter gene construct, the 2.2 kb showed promoter activity, but not nearly to the extent of a 1.3 kb fragment previously reporter by Levinson et al. Sequence analysis of the nucleotides spanning the region between 1.3 kb and 2.2 kb revealed a 13-nucleotide motif ACACAAAAAAATA 2059 bp upstream from the start site that duplicated the 'hunchback' binding site, a key site controlling developmental gene expression in Drosophila. Eliminating 129 bp containing the hunchback site (Hb) from the 5' end of the 2.2 kb stimulated promoter activity, suggesting the Hb site was basically suppressive. When ligated upstream of an SV40 and tested in SY5Y cells, however, the SV40 promoter activity was strongly stimulated, which conflicts with the site being suppressive. Mutating the site in the 2.2 kb weakened the promoter activity in SY5Y and HepG2 cells and a fragment with mutated sequence ligated upstream of the SV40 cancelled the activation of SV40 promoter activity. All data suggested the Hb site was a positive controlling site for Cu-ATPase expression. Nuclear extracts from SY5Y and HepG2 cells were observed to bind to a 106 bp probe with the Hb site in a gel-shift assay. Only SY5Y proteins, however, showed a slower moving shift band indicative of a secondary interaction. A probe with mutated sequences displayed the same shift pattern, suggesting other sites in the 106 bp DNA strand were also recognizing the nuclear proteins. A Southwestern analysis suggested that proteins of 125 kD, 70 kD, 50 kD and 42 kD bound to the wild type probe; a 60 kD and all with the exception of the 42 kD bound to the mutant probe. The data support the conclusion that the distal promoter of the Menkes disease gene contains elements that interact in combinatorial fashion to regulate Cu-ATPase expression and that tissue specificity may lie with the quantity or types of distinct DNA binding proteins in the nucleus.
BioMetals 04/2003; 16(1):55-61. · 2.82 Impact Factor