Identification and Functional Validation of a 5′ Upstream Regulatory Sequence in the Human Tyrosinase Gene Homologous to the Locus Control Region of the Mouse Tyrosinase Gene

Authors

  • Lucía Regales,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain Present address: Patricia Giraldo, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Patricia Giraldo,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain Present address: Patricia Giraldo, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Ángel García-DÍaz,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain Present address: Patricia Giraldo, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Alfonso Lavado,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain Present address: Patricia Giraldo, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Lluís Montoliu

    1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain Present address: Patricia Giraldo, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC), Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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* Address reprint requests to: Dr Lluís Montoliu,Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: montoliu@cnb.uam.es

Abstract

Comparison analysis of the sequences of the mouse and human genomes has proven a powerful approach in identifying functional regulatory elements within the non-coding regions that are conserved through evolution between homologous mammalian loci. Here, we applied computational analysis to identify regions of homology in the 5′ upstream sequences of the human tyrosinase gene, similar to the locus control region (LCR) of the mouse tyrosinase gene, located at −15 kb. We detected several stretches of homology within the first 30 kb 5′ tyrosinase gene upstream sequences of both species that include the proximal promoter sequences, the genomic region surrounding the mouse LCR, and further upstream segments. We cloned and sequenced a 5′ upstream regulatory sequence found between −8 and −10 kb of the human tyrosinase locus (termed h5′URS) homologous to the mouse LCR sequences, and confirmed the presence of putative binding sites at −9 kb, homologous to those described in the mouse tyrosinase LCR core. Finally, we functionally validated the presence of a tissue-specific enhancer in the h5′URS by transient transfection analysis in human and mouse cells, as compared with homologous DNA sequences from the mouse tyrosinase locus. Future experiments in cells and transgenic animals will help us to understand the in vivo relevance of this newly described h5′URS sequence as a potentially important regulatory element for the correct expression of the human tyrosinase gene.

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