The mouse RALDH2 gene spans >50 kb, has a structure similar to that of human class 1 aldehyde dehydrogenase genes, and localizes to the central region of chromosome 9 by single-strand polymorphism analysis. Expression of mouse RALDH2 was detected in testis, lung, brain, and heart (Northern blot) and in liver and kidney (RNase protection assays). Expression was not detected by RNase protection assay in testis of vitamin A-deficient rats, and all-trans-retinoic acid dosing did not increase expression in vitamin A-deficient rat testis. A 2.3-kb section of the gene 5' to the transcription start site included neither retinoic acid nor retinoid X response elements, but included TATA and CCAAT motifs and AP, AHR, CREB, ER, Ets, and SREBP sites. The promoter initiated transcription of a luciferase reporter in human embryonic kidney cells (EBNA) and mouse Leydig- (TM3) and Sertoli-derived (TM4) cell lines, but neither all-trans-retinoic acid nor 9-cis-retinoic acid affected reporter transcription. These data suggest that relatively weak RALDH2 expression in vitamin A-deficient testis reflects vastly decreased numbers of germ cells, the major site of expression.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.