Multiple promoter elements govern expression of the human ornithine decarboxylase gene in colon carcinoma cells

Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 May 25;20(10):2581-90. doi: 10.1093/nar/20.10.2581.


Overexpression of the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene may be important to the development and maintenance of colonic neoplasms, as well as tumors in general. In this study, we examined the promoter elements governing constitutive expression of the human ODC gene in HCT 116 human colon carcinoma cells and, for comparison, K562 human erythro-leukemia cells. It was determined by functional analysis that the promoter elements responsible reside within the 378 bp immediately upstream from the transcription start site. Within this sequence, there are at least three regions that modulate the efficiency of the ODC promoter cooperatively. Both DNA bandshift and footprint assays demonstrated all three regions to be rich in sites that bind to nuclear proteins isolated from HCT 116 and K562 cells; the protein binding pattern of non-transformed, diploid fibroblasts was found to be much less complex. Several of the protein binding sequences have little or no homology to common regulatory elements. We suggest that the constitutive activity of the ODC gene in HCT 116 colon carcinoma cells, and perhaps transformed cells in general, involves a complex interaction of multiple regulatory sequences and their associated nuclear proteins. Finally, the saturation of the promoter in these transformed cell lines suggests that high levels of protein binding in the ODC promoter may contribute to elevated constitutive expression of this gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / genetics*
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M81740