Differential Activity of the -2.7 kb Chicken Lysozyme Enhancer in Macrophages of Different Ontogenic Origins Is Regulated by C/EBP and PU.1 Transcription Factors

Faust, Nicole; Bonifer, Constanze; Sippel, Albrecht E.
August 1999
DNA & Cell Biology;Aug99, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p631
Academic Journal
Expression of the chicken lysozyme gene is upregulated during macrophage maturation. Recently, an additional regulatory feature was discovered: the gene is differentially expressed in macrophages of embryonic/fetal and adult origin. The lysozyme gene is only weakly expressed in mature embryo-derived macrophages, whereas there is a high level of expression in macrophages derived from adult animals. This finding provided a molecular tool to investigate the heretofore ill-defined differences between embryonic/fetal- and adult-type macrophages. We showed that the low expression in the embryo is associated with reduced activity of the myeloid-specific -2.7 kb lysozyme enhancer. Our protein-binding analyses and transfection studies demonstrated that this enhancer, in order to be fully active in activated macrophages, requires the combined action of C/EBPs, PU.1, and a third, as yet unidentified, protein binding to an AP-1-like site. Of these three, PU.1 and C/EBPs display significantly reduced nuclear DNA-binding activities in embryo-derived macrophages compared with adult-type cells. These results point to different roles of C/EBPs and PU.1 in embryonic/fetal and adult myelopoiesis.


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