Regulation of the alpha-fetoprotein promoter: Ku binding and DNA spatial conformation

P. Liénard, C. De Mees, P. L. Drèze, Marc Dieu, J. F. Dierick, M. Raes, J. Szpirer, C. Szpirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work shows that the proximal promoter of the mouse Afp gene contains a Ku binding site and that Ku binding is associated with down-regulation of the transcriptional activity of the Afp promoter. The Ku binding site is located in a segment able to adopt a peculiar structured form, probably a hairpin structure. Interestingly, the structured form eliminates the binding sites of the positive transcription factor HNF1. Furthermore, a DNAse hypersensitive site is detected in footprinting experiments done with extracts of AFP non-expressing hepatoma cells. These observations suggest that the structured form is stabilised by Ku and is associated with extinction of the gene in AFP non-expressing hepatic cells. © 2006 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1417
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Alpha-fetoprotein
  • DNA conformation
  • Ku
  • Transcription


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