We have studied the interaction between the dominant control region (DCR) and the promoter of the human beta-globin gene. Expression analysis in MEL cells has revealed that the DCR contains a number of elements capable of replacing the upstream (-250 to -100) erythroid-specific region of the promoter. The DCR strongly stimulates expression from a promoter possessing only a TATA box. However, this basic level of transcription is not induced upon erythroid differentiation of the cells. Mutational analysis of the minimal (-100, noninducible) promoter shows that only the combination of the DCR and the CAC/CCAAT elements provides erythroid-specific transcription. These regions act synergistically to produce full regulated expression during erythroid differentiation.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam