The developmental activation of the chicken lysozyme locus in transgenic mice requires the interaction of a subset of enhancer elements with the promoter

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The complete chicken lysozyme locus is expressed in a position independent fashion in macrophages of transgenic mice and forms the identical chromatin structure as observed with the endogenous gene in chicken cells. Individual lysozyme cis -regulatory elements reorganize their chromatin structure at different developmental stages. Accordingly, their activities are developmentally regulated, indicating a differential role of these elements in locus activation. We have shown previously that a subset of enhancer elements and the promoter are sufficient to activate transcription of the chicken lysozyme gene at the correct developmental stage. Here, we analyzed to which grade the developmentally controlled chromatin reorganizing capacity of cis -regulatory elements in the 5'-region of the chicken lysozyme locus is dependent on promoter elements, and we examined whether the lysozyme locus carries a dominant chromatin reorganizing element. To this end we generated transgenic mouse lines carrying constructs with a deletion of the lysozyme promoter. Expression of the transgene in macrophages is abolished, however, the chromatin reorganizing ability of the cis -regulatory elements is differentially impaired. Some cis -elements require the interaction with the promoter to stabilize transcription factor complexes detectable as DNase I hypersensitive sites in chromatin, whereas other elements reorganize their chromatin structure autonomously.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2992-3000
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1997


  • chicken lysozyme, transgenic mice, enhancer elements