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1.  Characterization of the human DYRK1A promoter and its regulation by the transcription factor E2F1 
Overexpression of the human DYRK1A gene due to the presence of a third gene copy in trisomy 21 is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of Down syndrome. The observation of gene dosage effects in transgenic mouse models implies that subtle changes in expression levels can affect the correct function of the DYRK1A gene product. We have therefore characterized the promoter of the human DYRK1A gene in order to study its transcriptional regulation.
Transcription start sites of the human DYRK1A gene are distributed over 800 bp within a region previously identified as an unmethylated CpG island. We have identified a new alternative noncoding 5'-exon of the DYRK1A gene which is located 772 bp upstream of the previously described transcription start site. Transcription of the two splicing variants is controlled by non-overlapping promoter regions that can independently drive reporter gene expression. We found no evidence of cell- or tissue-specific promoter usage, but the two promoter regions differed in their activity and their regulation. The sequence upstream of exon 1A (promoter region A) induced about 10-fold higher reporter gene activity than the sequence upstream of exon 1B (promoter region B). Overexpression of the transcription factor E2F1 increased DYRK1A mRNA levels in Saos2 and Phoenix cells and enhanced the activity of promoter region B three- to fourfold.
The identification of two alternatively spliced transcripts whose transcription is initiated from differentially regulated promoters regions indicates that the expression of the DYRK1A gene is subject to complex control mechanisms. The regulatory effect of E2F1 suggests that DYRK1A may play a role in cell cycle regulation or apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC2292204  PMID: 18366763
2.  Leptin induces inflammation-related genes in RINm5F insulinoma cells 
Leptin acts not only on hypothalamic centers to control food intake but has additional functions in peripheral tissues, e.g. inhibition of insulin secretion from pancreatic islets. The leptin receptor (LEPRb) is a class I cytokine receptor that mediates activation of STAT transcription factors. In this study, we characterise the regulation of inflammation-related genes by leptin in insulinoma cells and compare the effect of transcriptional regulation by leptin with that of other cytokines.
We have used RINm5F insulinoma cells as a model system for a peripheral target cell of leptin. Six transcripts encoding inflammation-related proteins were found to be upregulated by activation of LEPRb, namely lipocalin-2, pancreatitis-associated protein, preprotachykinin-1, fibrinogen-β, tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) and manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). Four of these transcripts (fibrinogen-β, lipocalin-2, tPA, MnSOD) were also induced by the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Interferon-γ alone had no effect on the leptin-induced transcripts but enhanced the upregulation by IL-1β of lipocalin-2, tPA and MnSOD mRNA levels. Experiments with LEPRb point mutants revealed that the upregulation of the inflammation-related genes depended on the presence of tyrosine-1138 which mediates the activation of the transcription factors STAT1 and STAT3. Reporter gene assays showed that leptin induced the expression of preprotachykinin-1 and lipocalin-2 on the level of promoter regulation. Finally, leptin treatment increased caspase 3-like proteolytic activity in RINm5F cells.
The present data show that leptin induces a cytokine-like transcriptional response in RINm5F cells, consistent with the proposed function of leptin as a modulator of immune and inflammatory responses.
PMCID: PMC1890559  PMID: 17521427

Results 1-2 (2)