In order to identify potential regulatory elements of the human mid-sized (M) neurofilament (NF) gene we preformed DNase I footprinting, gel mobility shift assays and methylation interference studies with probes from the NF(M) immediate 5′ flanking region. These studies identified multiple sites for DNA-binding proteins including four Sp1 sites, and single sites each for members of the NF-1 and AP-1 families of DNA binding proteins. In addition a binding site within a pyrimidine tract likely binds a novel DNA-binding protein which also interacts with the human NF(H) gene promoter. Factors that bind to these sites are found in both neural and non-neural cells suggesting that the NF(M) promoter may not contain tissue specific regulatory signals. In transient assays, addition of these binding sites to an NF(M) minimal promoter containing only a TATA box lead to a greater than 40-fold activation of transcription over background. Progressive 5′ deletions reduced expression in a step wise manner suggesting that all the factors likely act synergistically as positive regulators of transcription.
- AP-1 site
- Cis-acting sequences
- DNA-binding protein
- Neurofilament M gene promoter
- Nuclear factor-1