Mechanism for basal expression of rat mitochondrial branched-chain-2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase

Yi Shuian Huang, David T. Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The rat branched-chain-2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase (BCOD) kinase mRNA is transcribed from a TATA-less promoter that has GC-rich sequences and two putative Sp1 binding sites near the transcription start site. We demonstrated previously that the 5' region of the kinase gene, base pairs -128 to +264, contained promoter activity when assayed using luciferase as a reporter. To define DNA elements required for efficient expression of the kinase gene, nested deletion constructs of the above promoter region fused with a luciferase reporter gene were transfected into cultured H4IIE (hepatoma) and NRK-52E (kidney) cells. The results showed that the region between nucleotides -58 and +21 was indispensable for the kinase basal promoter activity. Methylation-interference and mutagenesis-promoter assays identified nucleotides -50 to -40 (ACAACTCCCA) as cis-acting DNA sequences that are required for nuclear protein binding and efficient promoter activity,. Gel-supershift analysis with anti-Sp1 antibody suggested that the nuclear protein capable of binding to the -58 oligonucleotide (bp -58 to -34) was immunologically related to the Sp1 protein. The -58 oligonucleotide formed a DNA-protein complex with recombinant Sp1 protein with an affinity approximately ten-fold lower than that of the consensus Sp1 oligonucleotide. Co-transfection of the Sp1 expression plasmid and the -58 promoter construct into Drosophila Schneider cells revealed that Sp1 contributed to the kinase basal promoter activity by binding to the non-consensus site in the -58 region. Deletion of two consensus Sp1 binding sites (bases -150 to -140 and bases +29 to +38) in the kinase gene did not affect the basal promoter activity. Therefore binding of Sp1 or Sp1-like proteins to the above single non-consensus Sp1 sequence in the -58 region plays a major role of transactivating basal expression of the BCOD kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-722
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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