The human multidrug resistance 1 promoter has an element that responds to serum starvation

Hideyuki Tanimura, Kimitoshi Kohno, Shin ichi Sato, Takeshi Uchiumi, Miki Miyazaki, Michio Kobayashi, Michihiko Kuwano

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We have previously demonstrated in transient expression assay systems that a human multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) promoter can be directly activated by cytotoxic anticancer agents. In this study, we examined whether the MDR1 promoter could be regulated in response to growth arrest induced by serum starvation. We have established human and rodent cell lines which stably expressed the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene driven by various lengths of the MDR1, the viral thymidine kinase (TK) and the simian virus 40 (SV40) promoters. Serum starvation caused enhanced expression of CAT gene with MDR1 promoter, but not with two viral gene promoters in human cancer KB cells. Hydroxyurea activated the MDR1 promoter, but not TK and SV40 promoters. By contrast, the DNA topoisomerase II inhibitor, etoposide, equally activated the MDR1, TK and SV 40 promoters. Increased CAT gene expression by serum starvation was also specifically observed in stable transfertants of human adrenal SW-13 cell lines, but not in stable transfectants of mouse fibroblast NIH3T3 and adrenal Y-1 cell lines when the human MDR1 promoter-CAT was introduced. Etoposide, however, effectively induced CAT activity in both human and rodent cells. Assays with deletion constructs of the MDR1 promoter showed that serum starvation activated the MDR1 promoter carrying -258 ∼ +121 base sequence of the promoter, but not -198 ∼ +121 of the promoter. These results suggest that the expression of the MDR1 gene induced by serum starvation is regulated at the transcriptional level in a promoter sequence-specific manner in human cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-924
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 16 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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