The message for the zinc finger gene Rex-1 (Zfp-42) is expressed in undifferentiated murine F9 teratocarcinoma cells and embryonic stem cells. Expression of Rex-1 is reduced at the transcriptional level when F9 cells are induced by the addition of retinoic acid (RA) to differentiate. We have isolated genomic DNA for the Rex-1 gene (Zfp-42), characterized the gene's structure, and mapped the gene to mouse chromosome 8. Promoter elements contributing to the regulation of the Rex-1 promoter in F9 cells have been identified. A region required for Rex-1 promoter activity in F9 stem cells contains an octamer motif (ATTTGCAT) which is a binding site for octamer transcription factor members of the POU domain family of DNA-binding proteins. Rex-1 reporter plasmids including this octamer site also exhibited reduced expression in F9 cells treated with RA. Thus, the octamer motif is a regulatory element required for the activity of the Rex-1 promoter in F9 stem cells, and this motif contributes to the negative regulation by RA of the transcription of the Rex-1 gene. As an initial confirmation of the in vivo relevance of the isolated fragment, a larger Rex-1 promoter fragment, also containing the octamer site, was able to promote expression of the bacterial lacZ gene in mouse embryos at the morula stage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology