We hypothesize that elevation of nm23-H1 metastasis suppressor gene expression in micrometastatic tumor cells may reduce their subsequent colonization and invasion, and induce differentiation, with a clinical benefit. This report presents the first analysis of the nm23-H1 promoter to identify sites which can increase its transcription. Deletion mapping of a 2.1 kb nm23-H1 promoter fragment tethered to a reporter gene identified three regions involved in its differential expression levels among a panel of human breast carcinoma cell lines: a 195 bp NheI-XbaI fragment responsible for basal expression levels, a 248 bp AvrII-NheI fragment which contributed to the elevated nm23-H1 expression observed in the high expressing cell lines, and a 544 bp AvrII fragment containing an inhibitory element. Examination of the 248 bp AvrII-NheI fragment revealed the unexpected presence of three transcription factor binding sites (MAF/Ets, CTF/NF1 half site and ACAAAG enhancer) previously identified in the MMTV-LTR, and in WAP and milk gene promoters, proposed to mediate mammary-specific gene expression. Mutation of the three sites, individually or together, resulted in two-fold reductions in reporter gene expression. As controls, the same panel of mutations caused a different pattern of reporter gene expression in a non-mammary cell line, and mutation of another nearby site was without effect on nm23-H1. Our data identify a complex regulatory pattern for nm23-H1 transcription, and suggest that a mammary-specific cassette of transcription factors contribute to its elevated expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research