A 310-bp minimal promoter mediates smooth muscle cell-specific expression of telokin

Aiping F. Smith, Robert M. Bigsby, R. Ann Word, B. Paul Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A cell-specific promoter located in an intron of the smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase gene directs transcription of telokin exclusively in smooth muscle cells. Transgenic mice were generated in which a 310-bp rabbit telokin promoter fragment, extending from -163 to +147, was used to drive expression of simian virus 40 large T antigen. Smooth muscle-specific expression of the T-antigen transgene paralleled that of the endogenous telokin gene in all smooth muscle tissues except uterus. The 310-bp promoter fragment resulted in very low levels of transgene expression in uterus; in contrast, a transgene driven by a 2.4-kb fragment (-2250 to +147) resulted in high levels of transgene expression in uterine smooth muscle. Telokin expression levels correlate with the estrogen status of human myometrial tissues, suggesting that deletion of an estrogen response element (ERE) may account for the low levels of transgene expression driven by the 310-bp rabbit telokin promoter in uterine smooth muscle. Experiments in A10 smooth muscle cells directly showed that reporter gene expression driven by the 2.4- kb, but not 310-bp, promoter fragment could be stimulated two-to threefold by estrogen. This stimulation was mediated through an ERE located between -1447 and -1474. Addition of the ERE to the 310-bp fragment restored estrogen responsiveness in A10 cells. These data demonstrate that in addition to a minimal 310-bp proximal promoter at least one distal cis-acting regulatory element is required for telokin expression in uterine smooth muscle. The distal element may include an ERE between -1447 and -1474.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1188-C1195
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 43-5
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Estrogen response element
  • Myosin light chain kinase
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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