Flanking and intragenic sequences regulating the expression of the rabbit α-globin gene

Magdalena James-Pederson, Susan Yost, Brian Shewchuk, Timothy Zeigler, Randall Miller, Ross Hardison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Despite their descent from a common ancestral gene and the requirement for coordinated, tissue-specific regulation, the α- and β-globin genes in many mammals are regulated in distinctly different ways. Unlike the β-globin gene, the rabbit α-globin gene is transiently expressed at a high level without an added enhancer in transfected erythroid and non-erythroid cells. By examining a series of α/β fusion genes, we show that internal sequences of the rabbit α-globin gene (within the first two exons and introns) are required along with the 5' flank for this enhancer-independent expression. Furthermore, deletion of the introns of the α-globin gene, or replacement by introns of the β-globin gene, results in severely decreased expression of the transfecting genes. Hybrid constructs between segments of the α-globin gene and a luciferase gene confirm that internal α-globin sequences are needed for high level production of RNA in transfected cells. The flanking and internal sequences implicated in regulation of the rabbit α-globin gene coincide with a prominent CpG-rich island and may comprise an extended promoter (including both flanking and intragenic sequences) that is active in transfected cells without an enhancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3965-3973
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 24 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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