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The chimeric gene E2A-PBX1 is formed by the t(1;19) chromosomal translocation exclusively associated with pediatric pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL). The resultant fusion protein from this chimeric gene contains the DNA-binding homeodomain of Pbx1. The first and only functional Pbx1 binding site has been localized in bovine CYP17 to a sequence (CRS1) that participates in cAMP-dependent transcription of this gene encoding the steroid hydroxylase, 17 alpha-hydroxylase cytochrome P450. Because Pbx1 is not expressed in pre-B cells, it may be possible that the E2a-Pbx1 fusion protein expressed in pre-B cells having this translocation will activate, in response to cAMP, transcription of genes not normally expressed in these cells leading to arrest of differentiation at the pre-B cell stage. We have now shown that reporter genes comprising CRS1 are activated transcriptionally by protein kinase A (PKA) in the pre-B cell line 697, which endogenously expresses the fusion protein, and that overexpression of E2A-Pbx1 in additional cell lines enhances transcription of reporter genes in a PKA-dependent fashion. Thus, it seems plausible that arrest in the pre-B stage leading to pre-B ALL includes cAMP-dependent activation of E2A-Pbx1.
To allow continuous monitoring of the circadian clock in cyanobacteria, we previously created a reporter strain (AMC149) of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 in which the promoter of the psbAI gene was fused to Vibrio harveyi luciferase structural genes (luxAB) and integrated into the chromosome. Northern (RNA) hybridization and immunoblot analyses were performed to examine changes in abundance of the luxAB mRNA, the native psbAI mRNA, and the luciferase protein to determine whether bioluminescence is an accurate reporter of psbAI promoter activity in AMC149. Under constant light conditions, the mRNA abundances of both luxAB and psbAI oscillated with a period of approximately 24 h for at least 2 days. The expression of these two genes following the same pattern: both mRNAs peaked in the subjective morning, and their troughs occurred near the end of the subjective night. The amount of luciferase protein also oscillated with a period of approximately 24 h, and the protein rhythm is in phase with the bioluminescence rhythm. The rhythm of the luciferase mRNA phase-leads the rhythms of luciferase protein and in vivo bioluminescence by several hours. Comparable results were obtained with a short-period mutant of AMC149. Together, these results indicate that the bioluminescence rhythm in AMC149 is due primarily to circadian oscillation of psbAI promoter activity in this cyanobacterium.
The most important regulator of insulin gene expression in pancreatic beta- cells is glucose, which affects gene transcription, mRNA translation, and secretion. Insulin gene transcription is both positively and negatively regulated by glucose. Recently, we have shown that the inhibition of insulin gene transcription caused by passaging HIT T-15 beta-cells, in the presence of high glucose, was due, in part, to reduced expression of a key regulator of insulin enhancer-mediated expression, somatostatin transcription factor-1 (STF-1). In this study, we have examined whether the activity of the other essential transcription regulators of insulin gene expression, the RIPE3b1 and insulin control element (ICE) activators, were also influenced in these HIT T-15 cells. The results show that the binding and trans-activation functions of the RIPE3b1 activator are reduced in parallel with the loss in STF-1 and insulin gene expression. In contrast, the regulatory properties of the ICE activator are unaffected. Our studies indicate that insulin gene transcription is inhibited by glucose through a mechanism involving reduced expression of both the RIPE3b1 and STF-1 activators in HIT T-15 cells but is independent of the ICE activator.