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Mol Cell Biol. Sep 1993; 13(9): 5805–5813.
PMCID: PMC360324
Genes encoding components of the olfactory signal transduction cascade contain a DNA binding site that may direct neuronal expression.
M M Wang, R Y Tsai, K A Schrader, and R R Reed
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2185.
Genes which mediate odorant signal transduction are expressed at high levels in neurons of the olfactory epithelium. The molecular mechanism governing the restricted expression of these genes likely involves tissue-specific DNA binding proteins which coordinately activate transcription through sequence-specific interactions with olfactory promoter regions. We have identified binding sites for the olfactory neuron-specific transcription factor, Olf-1, in the sequences surrounding the transcriptional initiation site of five olfactory neuron-specific genes. The Olf-1 binding sites described define the consensus sequence YTCCCYRGGGAR. In addition, we have identified a second binding site, the U site, in the olfactory cyclic nucleotide gated channel and type III cyclase promoters, which binds factors present in all tissue examined. These experiments support a model in which expression of Olf-1 in the sensory neurons coordinately activates a set of olfactory neuron-specific genes. Furthermore, expression of a subset of these genes may be modulated by additional binding factors.
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