The dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene promoter directs expression of E. coli lacZ to sympathetic and other neurons in adult transgenic mice

Neuron. 1991 Nov;7(5):703-16. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(91)90274-4.


Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) catalyzes the final step in the biosynthesis of norepinephrine, the principal classic neurotransmitter of peripheral sympathetic neurons. We have shown that 5.8 kb of 5' upstream region from a cloned human DBH gene promoter is sufficient to direct expression of the E. coli lacZ gene in transgenic mice to neurons of the locus ceruleus and other classic noradrenergic brain stem nuclei, sympathetic ganglion neurons, and adrenal chromaffin cells. lacZ expression was also observed in neurons of the enteric system, the retina, some sensory and all cranial parasympathetic ganglia, and some diencephalic and telencephalic brain nuclei. The expression pattern of the transgene in DBH-immunonegative sites overlapped with many sites where expression of tyrosine hydroxylase or phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, two other catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes, has been reported.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / genetics*
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lac Operon*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / cytology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / cytology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase