The Sp1 Transcription Factor Regulates Cell Type-Specific Transcription of MUC1

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Because the MUC1 mucin is highly expressed in breast and other carcinomas, interest is focused on the MUC1 promoter, particularly in the context of the delivery of genes to carcinomas. Earlier in vitro studies showed that the region between -152 and -66 of the MUC1 promoter is required for transcriptional activity in MUC1-expressing cells. Experiments reported here showed that sequences -119/-62 within this region are able to modulate transcription of the heterologous constitutively active herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase promoter in a pattern consistent with MUC1 expression. Band-shift experiments showed that although several factors (including Sp1 and Sp3) bind to these sequences, the element important in directing this MUC1 pattern of expression was an Sp1 GC box at -97. The data also show that the positioning or phase of the GC box was crucial for directing expression. The importance of the Sp1 transcription factor was confirmed by demonstrating that overexpression of Sp1 in MUC1-nonexpressing cells increased, not only the expression of a reporter gene driven by the 1.4-kb MUC1 promoter, but also the expression of MUC1 from the endogenous gene. Together, these data define an important role for Sp1 in the cell type-specific transcription of MUC1.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalDNA and Cell Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001