Rac2, a member of the Rho family of GTPases, is highly expressed in myeloid cells and is a regulator of the NADPH-oxidase complex. A murine genomic clone was isolated that contains the 5' end and putative promoter region of the Rac2 gene. Ribonuclease protection experiments detected 13 transcription initiation sites scattered 50 to 130 bp upstream of the translation initiation site. Transient transfection studies revealed that -7 kb to +31 bp (relative to the strongest transcription initiation site) of the Rac2 gene 5'-flanking region exhibited strong promoter activity in both RAW 264.7 macrophage cells that express the endogenous Rac2 gene and NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells that do not express the endogenous gene. Truncated Rac2 promoter fragments containing as little as the -74 to +31 bp sequence produced full transcriptional activity. However, a -57 to +31 promoter fragment directed significantly less transcription, and a -39 to +31 promoter fragment was transcriptionally inactive. In vitro binding assays revealed Sequence-specific and widely expressed DNA-binding activities that interacted within the -74 to 58 Rac2 promoter cis element. Oligonucleotide competition and antibody disruption studies indicated that these complexes contained the transcription factors Sp1 and Sp3. Specific ablation of the Sp1/Sp3 binding site significantly decreased Rac2 promoter activity in both RAW 264.7 and NIH-3T3 cells. Additional cis elements may be required to restrict Rac2 promoter activity to hematopoietic cells expressing the endogenous gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalDNA and cell biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


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