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Title: The human HMGB1 promoter is modulated by a silencer and an enhancer-containing intron
Authors: Lum, HK
Lee, KL
Issue Date: 2001
Source: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene structure and expression, 2001, v. 1520, no. 1, p. 79-84
Abstract: The highly conserved, ubiquitous high mobility group protein HMGB1 (formerly named as HMG1) is an architectural transcription factor encoded by a single functional gene in human. HMGB1 is expressed in almost all cell or tissue types studied. In general, it is expressed at a basal level in most cells but at a slightly elevated level of 2-3-fold in actively proliferating tissues or estrogen stimulated breast cancer cells. To understand the regulatory mechanism controlling expression of the human HMGB1 gene, we cloned and analyzed the upstream region as well as the first intron of this gene. We found that transcription of the human HMGB1 gene in the breast cancer MCF-7 cells starts at one major site 57 nucleotides upstream from the first exon-intron boundary. Expression of the human HMGB1 gene is under the control of a very strong TATA-less promoter, which has an activity more than 18-fold that of the SV40 promoter. Immediately upstream, a silencer element is present. This silencer can repress the activity of the HMGB1 promoter down to just one-sixth. The first intron of the human HMGB1 gene contains enhancer elements, which can increase the human HMGB1 promoter activity by 2-3-fold. We postulate that the human HMGB1 gene is capable of being expressed at a very high level. The basal level of expression observed in most cells is probably a result of the strong promoter being held in check by the silencer. The 2-3-fold increase in HMGB1 expression observed in proliferating cells or breast cancer cells stimulated by estrogen may probably result from the action of the enhancer elements in intron 1.
Keywords: High mobility group 1 gene
High mobility group protein B1
Intron enhancer
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene structure and expression 
ISSN: 0167-4781
DOI: 10.1016/S0167-4781(01)00243-3
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