Granulins (grns) or epithelins (epis) are peptides with molecular masses of approx. 6 kDa that modulate the growth of cells. The precursor for the grns/epis, which might itself be biologically active, is a secreted glycoprotein containing multiple repeats of the grn/epi motif. Grn/epi mRNA occurs widely in vivo, particularly in tissues rich in epithelial and haematopoietic cells. To understand better the role of the gene products for grn/epi it is important to determine the patterns of grn/epi gene expression and how this is regulated. To assist in this we have obtained the 5´ sequence of the human grn/epi gene, and using chimaeras of the grn/epi -5´ sequence and the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene we have shown a strong promoter activity associated with the 5´ sequence of the human grn/epi gene. We have further delineated regions of the 5´ sequence that confer high-level expression on the chimaeric gene.

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Author notes

Present address: Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 0511.

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Present address: Department of Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, Grafton Road, Auckland, New Zealand.