The luteinizing hormone beta subunit (LH-beta) gene plays a critical role in reproduction. In order to characterize and analyze the promoter region of LH-beta in sheep, a genomic library was constructed in phage lambda gt 10 and screened. A novel region of 1,224 bp upstream from the targeted LH-beta gene was identified. Blasting this sequence showed a perfect homology for the first 721 bp sequence with an upstream ovine LH-beta sequence in the database. However, the remaining 5'-503 bp showed no sequence matching. DNA from Moroccan breeds was isolated and the whole region was amplified and confirmed by sequencing. To further confirm the promoter activity of this region, an in vitro analysis using a luciferase assay was carried out. An increase in the promoter activity of the whole region was demonstrated compared to the empty vector. More interestingly, the unpublished region significantly enhanced the promoter activity compared to the known region alone. To predict putative transcription factor binding-sites (TFBSs), an in silico analysis was performed using the TFSEARCH program. The region features many TFBSs and contains two palindrome sequences of 17- and 18-bp. Taken together, a novel region was identified and confirmed in sheep which contained a promoter activity rich with binding sites for a putative regulatory element as shown in silico.
Keywords: LH-beta; Luciferase assay; Promoter; Reproduction.