LOX-1 is an endothelial receptor for oxidized low-density lipoprotein that plays essential roles in atherogenesis. LOX-1 has the highest homology with C-type lectin receptors expressed on natural killer cells. In the present study, we cloned and characterized the human LOX-1 gene (HGMW-approved symbol OLR1). The gene structure of LOX-1 resembles that of the natural killer cell receptors. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and analyses of a yeast artificial chromosome contig revealed that the human LOX-1 gene is located in the natural killer gene complex on chromosome 12p12-p13, where the genes of the natural killer cell receptors cluster. In contrast, the expression pattern of LOX-1 is different from that of the natural killer cell receptors; LOX-1 is expressed in vascular-rich organs, but not in lymphocytes. A 1753-bp fragment of the 5' flanking region of the LOX-1 gene had a functional promoter activity. This region contains binding sites for several transcription factors, including the STAT family and NF-IL6, and the expression of LOX-1 was upregulated by several cytokines. These results demonstrate that the human LOX-1 gene is a new member of the natural killer gene complex with a unique expression profile.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.