Characterization of the mevalonate kinase 5'-untranslated region provides evidence for coordinate regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis

Richard W. Bishop, Ken L. Chambliss, Georg F. Hoffmann, Richard D. Tanaka, K. Michael Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Using a probe derived from the 5'-untranslated region of the human mevalonate kinase (MK) cDNA, we screened a λgt 11 genomic library and obtained a single clone containing the 5' untranslated region of the gene. Nucleotide sequencing identified several putative regulatory elements, including two Sp1 (GC box) elements and a CCAAT box. A canonical TATA box was not detected. Directly adjacent to one Sp1 element was a sterol regulatory element (SRE), 5'-CACCCCAG-3', which was a 7/8 base pair match to the consensus sequences identified in the genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase and reductase, and the LDL receptor. There was no Sp1 element upstream of the SRE. Northern blot analysis in human CRL1508T cells revealed that quantities of MK poly A+ RNA increased for cells grown in the presence of lipid-deficient calf serum, and further increased upon addition of 1 μM lovastatin. Primer extension analysis with human poly A+ RNA suggested at least 4 transcription initiation sites downstream from the CCAAT box. To assess sterol responsiveness of transcription initiation, a 1.4 kb genomic fragment upstream of the translational start site was fused to the pSV2(cat) vector for transient expression in COS-7 cells, with chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) as the reporter gene. This construct demonstrated modest levels of CAT expression which was induced > 2-fold when cells were grown in lipoprotein-deficient calf serum. Our data provide further evidence for coordinate regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis in response to sterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-524
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 26 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • Coordinate regulation
  • Mevalonate kinase
  • Promoter
  • Sterol regulatory element
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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