Differences in human alpha- and beta-globin gene expression in mouse erythroleukemia cells: the role of intragenic sequences

Cell. 1984 Aug;38(1):251-63. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(84)90547-6.


Human beta-globin genes introduced into mouse erythroleukemia (MEL) cells by DNA cotransformation are correctly regulated when erythroid cell differentiation is induced by dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). In contrast, cloned human alpha-globin genes are efficiently transcribed in MEL cells prior to induction, and no increase in the level of alpha-globin mRNA is observed when the cells differentiate. These observations suggest that the mechanisms by which alpha- and beta-globin genes are activated during erythroid cell differentiation are fundamentally different. Analysis of the transcription of hybrid human alpha/beta-globin genes in MEL cells revealed that the sequences responsible for differences in transcription of the intact alpha- and beta-globin genes are located on the 3' side of the mRNA capping site of the two genes, suggesting that cis-acting regulatory sequences are located within the structural genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Recombinant / metabolism
  • Genes*
  • Globins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Experimental / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plasmids
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • RNA
  • Globins