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Activation of hGH-1 expression is mediated by the pituitary-specific transcription factor GHF-I/Pit-I which binds the 5'-flanking DNA at two sites: I (-96/-70) and II (-134/-106). Although the factor(s) which direct the placental-specific expression of hCS-1 are not known, hCS-1 sequences are transcriptionally active in pituitary cells. In the present study we examined the effects of sequence differences between hGH-1 and hCS-1 5'-flanking DNAs in determining their basal and thyroid hormone-regulated promoter activities. We showed that Sp1 is a major determinant of both hGH-1 and hCS-1 promoter activities and that in hGH-1, binding and activation by Sp1 are modulated by interference from GHF-I/Pit-1 binding at the adjacent site II sequence. A single base which differed in site II of hCS-1 greatly reduced GHF-1/Pit-1 binding and thus facilitated binding and activation by Sp1. Further differences in promoter activity of hGH-1 and hCS-1 sequences were accounted for by a thyroid hormone-responsive element between -62/-48 in the hCS-1 gene. However, induction by T3 was independent of either Sp1 or GH-1/Pit-1 binding in the site II region. These data demonstrate that a small number of base changes between hGH and hCS promoter sequences subserve a number of mechanisms which may differentially modulate the expression of hGH and hCS genes.
Arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) that bind to beta-glycosyl Yariv antigens have been purified from the culture medium and plasma membrane of "Paul's Scarlet" rose cells. Starting from culture medium or from plasma membrane vesicles prepared by aqueous two-phase partitioning, the purification procedure involved Yariv antigen-induced precipitation and subsequent chromatographic steps. Two fractions, AGP-(a) and AGP-(b), were obtained from the culture medium, and one AGP fraction was obtained from the plasma membrane. The glycosyl compositions of all three fractions were dominated by arabinosyl and galactosyl residues and included glucuronosyl and other minor residues. Methylation analysis showed that AGP-(a) and AGP-(b) were both highly branched 3,6-galactans with terminal arabinofuranosyl substituents. The amino acid compositions of all three AGPs were high in alanine, hydroxyproline, and serine and/or threonine. The amino-terminal sequence of AGP-(b) contained an alanine-hydroxyproline repeat. While sharing general structural similarity, the AGPs from the plasma membrane and the culture medium were distinguishable by composition and by size and charge, with the plasma membrane AGPs being larger and more negatively charged than the culture medium AGPs.
The expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded, growth-transformation-associated proteins was studied in lymphoproliferations of 9 allogeneic bone-marrow transplant (BMT) recipients. Immunoblots of cell lysates were probed with polyspecific and monospecific antisera directed against EBNA 1, 2, 3 and 6, and the membrane protein LMP. All tumors expressed EBNA 1 and LMP. EBNA 2 was detected in the tumors of 8 patients, and EBNA 3 and 6 in the tumors of 5 patients. The LMP regulatory sequences, 5' of the LMP gene, were totally unmethylated in all 7 cases, while the coding sequences of LMP and EBNA 2 were more methylated in CpG dinucleotides. EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) express EBNA 1 to 6 and LMP; in contrast, Burkitt lymphomas express only EBNA 1. In vitro experiments have shown that EBNA 2, 3 and LMP can generate targets for cytotoxic T cells (CTL). These combined observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease of the BMT recipients escapes CTL-mediated rejection due to the failure of host immunosurveillance rather than to the down-regulation of immunogenic EBV-encoded antigens.
Fragile X syndrome results from mutations in a (CGG)n repeat found in the coding sequence of the FMR-1 gene. Analysis of length variation in this region in normal individuals shows a range of allele sizes varying from a low of 6 to a high of 54 repeats. Premutations showing no phenotypic effect in fragile X families range in size from 52 to over 200 repeats. All alleles with greater than 52 repeats, including those identified in a normal family, are meiotically unstable with a mutation frequency of one, while 75 meioses of alleles of 46 repeats and below have shown no mutation. Premutation alleles are also mitotically unstable as mosaicism is observed. The risk of expansion during oogenesis to the full mutation associated with mental retardation increases with the number of repeats, and this variation in risk accounts for the Sherman paradox.
Fragile X syndrome is the most frequent form of inherited mental retardation and segregates as an X-linked dominant with reduced penetrance. Recently, we have identified the FMR-1 gene at the fragile X locus. Two molecular differences of the FMR-1 gene have been found in fragile X patients: a size increase of an FMR-1 exon containing a CGG repeat and abnormal methylation of a CpG island 250 bp proximal to this repeat. Penetrant fragile X males who exhibit these changes typically show repression of FMR-1 transcription and the presumptive absence of FMR-1 protein is believed to contribute to the fragile X phenotype. It is unclear, however, if either or both molecular differences in FMR-1 gene is responsible for transcriptional silencing. We report here the prenatal diagnosis of a male fetus with fragile X syndrome by utilizing these molecular differences and show that while the expanded CGG-repeat mutation is observed in both the chorionic villi and fetus, the methylation of the CpG island is limited to the fetal DNA (as assessed by BssHII digestion). We further demonstrate that FMR-1 gene expression is repressed in the fetal tissue, as is characteristic of penetrant males, while the undermethylated chorionic villi expressed FMR-1. Since the genetic background of the tissues studied is identical, including the fragile X chromosome, these data indicate that the abnormal methylation of the FMR-1 CpG-island is responsible for the absence of FMR-1 transcription and suggests that the methylation may be acquired early in embryogenesis.