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Comparative Study
, 278 (1-2), 131-9

Distinct Functions of Two Isoforms of a Homeobox Gene, BP1 and DLX7, in the Regulation of the Beta-Globin Gene

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Comparative Study

Distinct Functions of Two Isoforms of a Homeobox Gene, BP1 and DLX7, in the Regulation of the Beta-Globin Gene

S Fu et al. Gene.

Abstract

Homeotic proteins are transcription factors that regulate the expression of multiple genes involved in development and differentiation. We previously isolated a cDNA encoding such a protein from the human leukemia cell line K562, termed Beta Protein 1 (BP1), which is involved in negative regulation of the human beta-globin gene. Sequence comparison revealed that BP1 is a member of the distal-less (DLX) family of homeobox genes and that it shares its homeodomain and 3' sequences with another DLX cDNA, DLX7. BP1 and DLX7 exhibit unique 5' regions, diverging at nucleotide 565 of BP1. We mapped this new distal-less family member BP1 to chromosome 17q21-22 by FISH and PCR, which is the same locus to which DLX7 has been mapped. These results strongly suggest that BP1 and DLX7 are isoforms (derived from the same gene). Since our previous data demonstrated that BP1 and DLX7 are frequently co-expressed, we determined whether DLX7 is also involved in the negative regulation of the beta-globin gene. Mobility shift assays demonstrated that both BP1 and DLX7 proteins, synthesized in vitro, bind to the same BP1 binding site. However, using transient assays, we showed that although BP1 represses activity of a reporter gene through either of two silencer DNA sequences upstream of the beta-globin gene, DLX7 did not show repressor activity against the beta-globin promoter. Further characterization of these apparent isoforms is of significance since they are jointly expressed in acute myeloid leukemia and in many leukemia cell lines.

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