Gata-Binding and Sp1-Binding Sites Are Required for the Full Activity of the Tissue-Specific Promoter of the Tal-1 Gene

Lecointe, N.; Bernard, O.; Naert, K.; Joulin, V.; Larsen, C. J.; Romeo, P. H.; Mathieumahul, D.


1994-09 / vol 9 / pages 2623-2632


The tal-1 gene, which is frequently activated in human T cell acute leukemias (T-ALLs), codes for a protein of the basic helix-loop-helix family (b-HLH) and potentially a transcription factor. In human and murine hematopoiesis tal-1 is expressed during the differentiation of the erythroid, megakaryocytic and mastocytic cell lineages. The expression of tal-1 appears to be comodulated with that of the transcription factor GATA-1 gene, suggesting that the GATA-1 protein may regulate the tal-1 gene activity in these hematopoietic lineages. To get further insights into the molecular mechanisms that control tal-1 expression, we have isolated 5′ sequences of the murine gene and compared them to their human counterparts. The 5′ flanking sequences from the two genes show several regions of high homology. The alignment of both sequences enabled us to predict that similarly, to the human, the mouse gene contains two alternative first exons (Ia and Ib). Remarkably, in both species, the proximal region of the tissue-specific exon Ia (i.e. gene segment -122 to +1) contains two GATA-motifs (at -65 and -33) and one SP-1 consensus binding site (-59). Mobility shift assays demonstrate that GATA proteins are able to interact with both GATA-motifs in a sequence specific fashion, but with different efficiencies. Moreover transfection studies show that the GATA-1 protein directly mediates tal-1 transcription by interacting with the -122/+1 fragment, defined as a minimal promoter in erythroid cells. Mutagenesis of the promoter establishes that the -33 GATA-binding site present in this fragment is critical for tal-1 expression in erythroid cells, but by itself does not lead to full promoter activity. Indeed, further mutations show that the second -65 GATA-binding site and the binding motif for SP1 (-59) significantly contribute to the overall activity of the proximal tal-1 promoter. Altogether, our data provide evidence that GATA-1 cooperates with the transcription factor SP1 to mediate the erythroid-specific expression of the tal-1 gene.



mammalian-cells; control region; acute lymphoblastic-leukemia; scl gene; hematopoietic-cells; chromosomal localization; DNA-binding protein; loop-helix gene; t-cell leukemia; transcription factor gata-1

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