Involvement of two Ets binding sites in the transcriptional activation of the MAGE1 gene

C De Smet, S J Courtois, I Faraoni, C Lurquin, J P Szikora, O De Backer, T Boon

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The MAGE1 gene codes for an antigen recognized on melanoma cell line MZ2-MEL by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes. It is expressed in a number of tumors of different histological origins, but not in normal tissues except in testis. The MAGE1 promoter region was analyzed by performing transient transfections in MZ2-MEL cells with luciferase reporter plasmids. A fragment extending from nucleotide -792 to +118 exhibited high transcriptional activity. By deletional analysis of this fragment, we identified five activating regions designated C, A, B', B, and D. The activity of region A depends on the presence of region B' and vice versa. Two inverted Ets motifs contained in regions B' and B were found to drive 90% of the activity of the MAGE1 promoter in MZ2-MEL cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays performed with a nuclear extract from MZ2-MEL cells and with competitor oligonucleotides containing an Ets consensus site showed that nuclear proteins bind to the Ets motif of regions B' and B. Similar experiments suggested that region A binds transcription factors of the Sp1 family. The MAGE1 promoter was found to exert transcriptional activity in tumor cells where the MAGE1 gene is not expressed, suggesting that other mechanisms, such as demethylation, may contribute to the tumor-specific expression of the gene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-90
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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