A distant upstream promoter of the HNF-4alpha gene connects the transcription factors involved in maturity-onset diabetes of the young.
SourceHuman Molecular Genetics, 10, 19, (2001), pp. 2089-2097
Article / Letter to editor
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Human Molecular Genetics
SubjectHypertension and Circulation; Hypertensie en circulatie
Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a monogenic, autosomal dominant subtype of early-onset diabetes mellitus due to defective insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta-cell in humans. Five different genes have been identified including those encoding the tissue-specific transcription factors expressed in pancreatic beta-cells, i.e. HNF-4alpha (MODY1), HNF-1alpha (MODY3), IPF-1 (also known as PDX-1, MODY4) and HNF-1beta (MODY5). Analyzing the transcription of the HNF-4alpha gene, we now identify an alternative promoter, P2, which is 46 kb 5' to the previously identified P1 promoter of the human gene. Based on RT-PCR this distant upstream P2 promoter represents the major transcription site in pancreatic beta-cells, but is also used in hepatic cells. Transfection assays with various deletions and mutants of the P2 promoter reveal functional binding sites for HNF-1alpha, HNF-1beta and IPF-1, the other transcription factors known to encode MODY genes. We demonstrate the significance of this alternative promoter in a large MODY family where a mutated IPF-1 binding site in the P2 promoter of the HNF-4alpha gene co-segregates with diabetes (LOD score 3.25). These data suggest a regulatory network of the four MODY transcription factors interconnected at the distant upstream P2 promoter of the HNF-4alpha gene.
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