Interaction of upstream stimulatory factor with the human heme oxygenase gene promoter

Michihiko SATO, Shinobu ISHIZAWA, Tadashi YOSHIDA, Shigeki SHIBAHARA

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Upstream stimulatory factor (USF), originally identified in HeLa cells, interacts with the upstream promoter sequence of adenovirus 2 major late promoter (Ad2MLP) and activates its transcription. USF is present in uninfected HeLa cells and appears to be involved in the transcription of cellular genes related to stress. Recently, we have proposed that the rat heme oxygenase gene, newly identified heat‐shock protein gene, is regulated at least in partly by a rat homolog of USF [Sato, M., Fukushi, Y., Ishizawa, S., Okinaga, S., Muller, R. M. & Shibahara, S. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 10251–10260]. We therefore confirm that the heme oxygenase gene is expressed in HeLa cells and its expression is increased by cadmium, suggesting that human heme oxygenase is a stress protein similar to the metallothioneins. Using partially purified USF from HeLa cells, we show that USF binds to the human heme oxygenase gene promoter and stimulates its cell‐free transcription. The cis‐acting element, identified as CACGTGACCCG, is located 34 bp upstream from the transcription initiation site, and contains the core sequence of the upstream promoter sequence of Ad2MLP. We propose that USF contributes to the transcription of the human heme oxygenase gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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