Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


We have applied DNA transfer techniques lo study the transcriptional regulation of the calcitonin (CT) gene in a C-cell line (TT) derived from a human medullary thyroid carcinoma. TT cells were transfected with a fusion gene containing the CT gene promoter and 5' -flanking DNA attached to the promoter-less growth hormone gene (reporter). We quantitated the reporter gene product to monitor transcriptional activation by the CT promoter and deletion mutants of the 5' -flanking DNA. We found that the proximal CT promoter which includes the DNA sequence from +1 to -129 bp upstream from the CT transcription start site did not induce transcription in C-cells or in NIH 3T3 cells. The attachment of additional 5'-flanking DNA, extending up to -1460 bp enhanced transcription up to twelvefold in TT cells but had no effect on transcription in 3T3 cells. Deletion of a sequence located at -1290 to -820 bp on the CT 5' -flanking DNA abolished the transcription of the reporter gene. Attachment of the DNA sequence located between -1333 to -731 to the fusion gene, containing the CT promoter (+1 to -129) and the reporter gene, restored transcription of the reporter gene in TT cells. We conclude that an enhancer of CT transcription, which is active in C-cells but not in 3T3 cells, is located between -1290 and -820 of the CT 5'-flanking DNA.