Regulation of αA-crystallin gene expression: Lens specificity achieved through the differential placement of similar transcriptional control elements in mouse and chicken

John G. Ilagan, Ales Cvekl, Marc Kantorow, Joram Piatigorsky, Christina M. Sax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The lens-preferred mouse αA-crystallin gene contains a conserved stretch (proximal element 2, +24/+43) in its 5'-noncoding region that we have previously shown binds nuclear proteins of lens and non-lens cells. The 5'- half of this sequence (PE2A, +25/+32) has consensus binding sites for AP-1 and other transcription factors. We show here by deletion experiments that PE2A is important for activity of the mouse αA-crystallin promoter and mediates phorbol ester and c-Jun responsiveness of this promoter in transfected lens cells. In vitro protein binding studies suggest that AP-1 complexes are capable of binding to PE2A. Our findings suggest that PE2A plays a role in mouse αA-crystallin gene expression through AP-1-mediated regulatory mechanisms. We propose that the mouse and chicken αA-crystallin genes are expressed with lens specificity using a similar assortment of transcription factors but with a different physical arrangement of their respective cis-elements within the promoter region. A fundamental role for AP-1 in lens-preferred expression of crystallin genes is consistent with the idea that a redox-sensitive mechanism is a selective force for recruiting lens crystallins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19973-19978
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 9 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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