Pem homeobox gene regulatory sequences that direct androgen-dependent developmentally regulated gene expression in different subregions of the epididymis

Manjeet K. Rao, Chad M. Wayne, Miles F. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The epididymis is a useful model system to understand the mechanisms that govern region-specific gene expression, as many gene products display spatially restricted expression within this organ. However, surprisingly little is known about how this regulation is achieved. Here, we report regulatory sequences from the Pem homeobox gene that drive expression in different subregions of the mouse epididymis in vivo. We found that the 0.3-kb 5′-flanking sequence (region 1) from the Pem proximal promoter (Pem Pp) was sufficient to confer androgen-dependent and developmentally regulated expression in the caput region of the epididymis. Expression was restricted to the normal regions of expression of Pem in the caput (segments 2-4), but there was also aberrant expression in the corpus region. This corpus misexpression was extinguished when 0.6 kb of Pem Pp 5′-flanking sequence was included in the transgene, indicating that one or more negative regulatory elements exist between 0.6 and 0.3 kb upstream of the Pem Pp start site (region II). When heterologous sequences were introduced upstream of the Pem Pp, expression was further restricted, mainly to caput segment 3, implying that the Pem Pp has segment-specific regulatory elements. To our knowledge, the regulatory regions we have identified are the shortest so far defined that dictate regionally localized expression in the epididymis in vivo. They may be useful for identifying the factors that regulate region-specific expression in the epididymis, for expressing and conditionally knocking out genes in different subregions of the epididymis, for treating male infertility, and for generating novel methods of male contraception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48771-48778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number50
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 13 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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