Molecular cloning, characterization, and promoter analysis of the mouse Crp2/SmLim gene: Preferential expression of its promoter in the vascular smooth muscle cells of transgenic mice

Shaw Fang Yet, Sara C. Folta, Mukesh K. Jain, Chung Ming Hsieh, Koji Maemura, Matthew D. Layne, Dorothy Zhang, Pooja B. Marria, Masao Yoshizumi, Michael T. Chin, Mark A. Perrella, Mu En Lee

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36 Scopus citations


Several members of the LIM protein family have important roles in development and differentiation. We recently isolated a rat cDNA encoding a new member of this family, CRP2/SmLIM, that contains two LIM domains and is expressed preferentially in vascular smooth muscle celIs (VSMC). To study the molecular mechanisms that regulate VSMC-specific transcription of the Crp2/SmLim gene, we cloned the cDNA and gene of mouse Crp2/SmLim. Mouse Crp2/SmLim is a single copy gene of six exons and five introns spanning approximately 20 kilobases of genomic DNA. By 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends and S1 nuclease protection assay, we determined that the transcription start site is an A residue 80 base pairs 5' of the translation initiation codon. A TATA-like sequence is located 27 base pairs 5' of the transcription start site, and there are potential cis-acting elements (GATA, Sp1, AP-2, E box, CCAC box, and GArC motif) in the 5'-flanking sequence. In transient transfection assays in rat aortic smooth muscle cells in primary culture, 5 kilobases of the Crp2/SmLim 5'-flanking sequence generated a high level of luciferase reporter gene activity. By deletion analysis and gel mobility shift assay, we found that the region between bases -74 and -39 of this 5 kilobase DNA fragment binds Sp1 and confers basal promoter activity in the Crp2/SmLim gene. In vitro, the 5-kilobase fragment was active in multiple cell types. In vivo, however, the 5-kilobase fragment directed high level expression of the lacZ reporter gene preferentially in the VSMC of transgenic mice, indicating the presence of VSMC-specific element(s) in this fragment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10530-10537
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 24 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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