Structural Analysis of the Mouse mdr1a (P-Glycoprotein) Promoter Reveals the Basis for Differential Transcript Heterogeneity in Multidrug-Resistant J774.2 Cells

Stephen I.Hong Hsu, Dalia Cohen, Lawrence S. Kirschner, Leonard Lothstein, Morris Hartstein, Susan Band Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


In multidrug-resistant mouse J774.2 cells, the differential overproduction of functionally distinct phosphoglycoprotein isoforms reflects the amplification or transcriptional activation or both of two mdr gene family members, mdr1a and mdr1b. The mdr1a gene is a complex transcriptional unit whose expression is associated with multiple transcript sizes. Independently selected multidrug-resistant J774.2 cell lines differentially overexpress either 4.6- and 5.0-kilobase (kb) or 4.7- and 5.1-kb mdr1a transcripts. However, abundant overproduction of the mdr1a gene product was observed only in cell lines which overexpressed the 4.6- and 5.0-kb mRNAs. In order to determine the basis for mdr1a transcript heterogeneity and the relationship between transcript size and steady-state mdr1a protein levels, genomic and cDNA sequence analyses of the 5′ and 3′ ends of the mdr1a gene were carried out. Promoter sequence analysis and primer extension mapping indicated that mdr1a transcripts were differentially initiated from two putative promoters to generate either 5.1- and 4.7-kb or 5.0- and 4.6-kb transcripts in four multidrug-resistant J774.2 cell lines. Sequence analysis of 3′ cDNA variants and a 3′ genomic fragment revealed that the 5.1- and 5.0-kb mRNAs had identical 3′-untranslated regions which differed from those of the 4.7- and 4.6-kb mRNAs as a result of the utilization of a more downstream alternative poly(A) addition signal. Transcript initiation from the putative upstream promoter correlated with a 70 to 85% decrease in steady-state mdr1a protein levels relative to transcript levels. In addition, the identification of putative AP-1 and AP-2 promoter elements suggests a possible role for protein kinase A and protein kinase C in the regulation of mdr1a. The implications of these findings for mdr gene expression and regulation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3596-3606
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural Analysis of the Mouse mdr1a (P-Glycoprotein) Promoter Reveals the Basis for Differential Transcript Heterogeneity in Multidrug-Resistant J774.2 Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this