NF1 Regulatory Element Functions as a Repressor of Tissue Plasminogen Activator Expression

Nhat Long Pham, Amy Franzen, Eugene G. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective-Analysis of the distribution of endothelial cell tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the vasculature of rodents and primates demonstrated that tPA is constitutively expressed predominately in small artery endothelial cells of brain and lung. The regulatory elements responsible for the highly selective expression of arterial endothelial cell tissue plasminogen activator were sought. Methods and Results-Transcription factor binding sites were defined by electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA) analysis using rat lung and brain nuclear extracts and the tPA promoter sequence from -609 to +37 bp. Protein binding to the promoter was found to be mediated by an NF1 site between -158 and -145 bp upstream from the transcriptional start site. Specific binding was confirmed through mutational analysis and competition binding studies. Infection of endothelial cells with a tPA promoter-green fluorescent protein (GFP) (-609 to +37 bp) reporter construct resulted in expression of the GFP, whereas no expression was found in smooth muscle cells. Mutation of the NF1 site increased the GFP expression indicating that the element acts as a repressor. Conclusions-These results suggest that the 600 bp of the tPA promoter upstream of the transcription start site conveys cell specificity to tPA expression and that an NF1 site within this region acts as a repressor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-987
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Endothelial cells
  • Gene expression
  • NF1
  • Promoter
  • Tissue plasminogen activator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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