Regulation of mouse Scgb3a1 gene expression by NF-Y and association of CpG methylation with its tissue-specific expression


<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Secretoglobin (SCGB) 3A1 is a secretory protein of small molecular weight with tumor suppressor function. It is highly expressed in lung and trachea in both human and mouse, with additional tissues expressing the protein that differ depending on the species. However, little is known about the function and transcriptional regulation of this gene in normal mouse tissues.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>By reporter gene transfection and gel mobility shift analyses, we demonstrated that expression of the mouse <it>Scgb3a1 </it>gene is regulated by a PU-box binding protein and a ubiquitous transcription factor NF-Y that respectively binds to the PU-boxes located at -99 to -105 bp and -158 to -164 bp, and the "CCAAT" binding sites located at -425 to -429 bp and -498 to -502 bp from the transcription start site of the gene. However, the effect of PU-box binding protein on transcriptional activation is minimal as compared to NF-Y, suggesting that NF-Y is a more critical transcription factor for mouse <it>Scgb3a1 </it>gene transcription. Despite that NF-Y is a ubiquitous factor, <it>Scgb3a1 </it>is highly expressed only in mouse lung and mtCC cells that are derived from SV40 transformed mouse Clara cells, but not in ten other mouse tissues/cells examined. Gene methylation analysis revealed that within 600 bp of the <it>Scgb3a1 </it>gene promoter region, there are nine CpG methylation sites present, of which two CpGs closest to the transcription start site of the gene are unmethylated in the tissues/cells expressing SCGB3A1.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>A ubiquitous transcription factor NF-Y binds to and activates expression of the mouse <it>Scgb3a1 </it>gene and tissue-specific expression of the gene is associated with CpG methylation of the promoter.</p

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