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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Conditional enhancement of liver-specific gene transcription.


PMID 3194409

Abstract

We sought to develop a cell line in which liver-specific transcription could be induced at will, to facilitate the study of factors that cause hepatocyte-specific transcription of the serum albumin gene in mice. We therefore created the H2.35 cell line from mouse hepatocytes infected with a temperature-sensitive strain of simian virus 40. During routine propagation at the permissive temperature, H2.35 cells exhibit extremely low levels of albumin transcription and mRNA. Albumin mRNA increases at least 100-fold when H2.35 cells are cultured at the restrictive temperature and in serum-free medium on a collagen substratum; the two latter conditions maintain the differentiated state of primary hepatocyte cultures. Although a major cause of the mRNA increase is posttranscriptional, the transcription rates of albumin and other liver-specific genes increase significantly. Transient-transfection experiments demonstrated that an induction of transcription is caused by activation of an albumin upstream sequence that was previously shown to enhance liver-specific transcription in transgenic mice. Thus, hepatocyte differentiation appears to be maintained in part by extracellular signals that stimulate the activity of a tissue-specific enhancer element.

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H2.35, 94050407