cAMP-responsive element in TATA-less core promoter is essential for haploid-specific gene expression in mouse testis

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jun 10;33(10):3401-11. doi: 10.1093/nar/gki652. Print 2005.


Promoters, including neither TATA box nor initiator, have been frequently found in testicular germ cell-specific genes in mice. These investigations imply that unique forms of the polymerase II transcription initiation machinery play a role in selective activation of germ cell-specific gene expression programs during spermatogenesis. However, there is little information about testis-specific core promoters, because useful germ cell culture system is not available. In this study, we characterize the regulatory region of the haploid-specific Oxct2b gene in detail by using in vivo transient transfection assay in combination with a transgenic approach, with electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Expression studies using mutant constructs demonstrate that a 34 bp region, which extends from -49 to -16, acts as a core promoter in an orientation-dependent manner. This promoter region includes the cAMP-responsive element (CRE)-like sequence TGACGCAG, but contains no other motifs, such as a TATA box or initiator. The CRE-like element is indispensable for the core promoter activity, but not for activator in testicular germ cells, through the binding of a testis-specific CRE modulator transcription factor. These results indicate the presence of alternative transcriptional initiation machinery for cell-type-specific gene expression in testicular germ cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Flanking Region
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Coenzyme A-Transferases / biosynthesis
  • Coenzyme A-Transferases / genetics*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element Modulator
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electroporation
  • Haploidy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Response Elements*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Spermatids / metabolism
  • TATA Box
  • Testis / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element Modulator
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Coenzyme A-Transferases
  • 3-ketoacid CoA-transferase