The structure of the TATA-less rat tissue-type plasminogen activator gene. Species-specific sequence divergences in the promoter predict differences in regulation of gene expression

Feng, P.; Ohlsson, M.; Ny, T.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 265(4): 2022-2027


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 2105315
Accession: 041761796

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The genomic region carrying the rat tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) gene including its 5'-flanking sequence has been isolated and characterized by restriction enzyme analysis, Southern blotting, and DNA sequencing of all coding parts and the promoter region. The gene is approximately 25 kilobase pairs in size and comprises 14 exons separated by 13 introns. All the exon/intron boundaries agree with the GT-AG rule. The organization of the rat tPA gene is very similar to its human counterpart, and the location of the introns in the protein structure is identical to the human tPA gene. To characterize the promoter region, the transcription initiation site was identified by S1 nuclease protection experiments. A DNA fragment carrying 621 nucleotides of the 5'-flanking sequence was found to confer basal promoter activity and hormone responsiveness to a reporter gene construct in primary cultures of rat granulosa cells. Analysis of the rat tPA promoter sequence and a comparison with the human and mouse counterparts reveal several species-specific differences: the rat and mouse tPA promoters lack typical TATA and CAAT sequences found in the human tPA gene. Furthermore, the rat tPA promoter contains a consensus cAMP-responsive element shown to be required for cAMP responsiveness in eucaryotic genes. At the same position as the cAMP-responsive element in the rat gene, the mouse and human tPA genes have a 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-responsive element known to mediate activation by phorbol esters. The differences in the promoter sequences of the rat, mouse, and human tPA genes may have implications for the regulation of the tPA gene in different species.