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Inhibition of Beta Protein 1 Expression Enhances Beta-Globin Promoter Activity and Beta-Globin mRNA Levels in the Human Erythroleukemia (K562) Cell Line

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Inhibition of Beta Protein 1 Expression Enhances Beta-Globin Promoter Activity and Beta-Globin mRNA Levels in the Human Erythroleukemia (K562) Cell Line

Olga P Zoueva et al. Exp Hematol.

Abstract

Objective: In this paper, we report new observations related to the mechanism of the negative regulation of the important adult beta-globin gene in the erythroid cells at the embryonic-fetal stage of their development. We focused on the role of the silencer II region located upstream of the beta-globin gene, which along with its cognate binding protein BP1, negatively regulates beta-globin transcription.

Materials and methods: We prepared plasmid constructs containing the wild-type silencer II sequence, a mutated silencer II sequence, or a mutated control sequence in the beta-globin promoter 690-bp insert, which in turn was linked to an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter gene. A human erythroleukemia cell line (K562) with embryonic-fetal phenotype was transfected with these EGFP constructs.

Results: Flow cytometry and fluorescence digital imaging showed about threefold increase in the beta-globin promoter activity of the mutated silencer II construct. Introduction of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) complementary to BP1 into the cells caused a 75% decrease in BP1 expression and a simultaneous approximately 40% elevation of beta-globin promoter activity as well as an increase in beta-globin mRNA levels, as compared with controls. We detected no changes in the mRNA levels of positive regulators of hemoglobin transcription such as EKLF and GATA-1.

Conclusion: Our results support the involvement of BP1 in the mechanism of the negative regulation of beta-globin transcription. A better understanding of this mechanism may lay the groundwork for novel gene therapy approaches to inhibit the expression of abnormal structural variants of adult beta globin, such as sickle hemoglobin.

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