A 20-nucleotide element in the intestinal fatty acid binding protein gene modulates its cell lineage-specific, differentiation-dependent, and cephalocaudal patterns of expression in transgenic mice

T. C. Simon, L. J.J. Roberts, J. I. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sequence of epithelial cell proliferation, allocation to four principal lineages, migration-associated differentiation, and cell loss occurs along the crypt-villus axis of the mouse intestine. The sequence is completed in a few days and is recapitulated throughout the life-span of the animal. We have used an intestine-specific fatty acid binding protein gene, Fabpi, as a model for studying regulation of gene expression in this unique developmental system. Promoter mapping studies in transgenic mice identified a 20-bp cis- acting element (5'-AGGTGGAAGCCATCACACTT-3') that binds small intestinal nuclear proteins and participates in the control of Fabpi's cephalocaudal, differentiation-dependent, and cell lineage-specific patterns of expression. Immunocytochemical studies using confocal and electron microscopy indicate that it does so by acting as a suppressor of gene expression in the distal small intestine/colon, as a suppressor of gene activation in proliferating and nonproliferating cells located in the crypts of Lieberkuhn, and as a suppressor of expression in the growth factor and defensin-producing Paneth cell lineage. The 20-bp domain has no obvious sequence similarities to known transcription factor binding sites. The three functions modulated by this compact element represent the types of functions required to establish and maintain the intestine's remarkably complex spatial patterns of gene expression. The transgenes described in this report also appear to be useful in characterizing the crypt's stem cell hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8685-8689
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume92
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • axial patterning
  • gene expression
  • lineage allocation
  • stem cell hierarchies

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