Interferons as gene activators. Cloning of the 5' terminus and the control segment of an interferon activated gene

H. Samanta, D. A. Engel, H. M. Chao, A. Thakur, M. A. García-Blanco, P. Lengyel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Treatment of cells with interferons induces various mRNAs and the corresponding proteins. We have described previously the isolation of a mouse cDNA clone (cDNA clone 202) which specifies an mRNA whose level is increased 20-fold in beta-interferon-treated Ehrlich ascites tumor cells. The increase is a consequence of an increased rate of transcription. The mRNA encodes a 56,000-dalton protein. We report here the isolation of a genomic clone including the 5' terminus of the 202 gene with the interferon-responsive region. Experiments involving primer extension and protection from cleavage by S1 nuclease revealed the existence of multiple 5' termini of 202 mRNAs in Ehrlich ascites tumor and L(tk-) cells. Treatment with beta-interferon increased the level of these 202 mRNAs with different 5' termini nonuniformly. A 0.8-kilobase DNA segment from the 202 gene (including its 5' flanking region and its 5'-terminal exon) was ligated to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene, and the resulting construct was transfected into mouse L(tk-) cells. Treatment of these cells with beta-interferon increased the expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene 5-10-fold. Within the first, untranslated exon of the 202 gene, we found a 29-nucleotide long sequence that is partially homologous to sequences which occur upstream from interferon-inducible human HLA and metallothionein IIA genes (Friedman, R.L., and Stark, G.R. (1985) Nature 314, 637-639).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11849-11858
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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