A DNA region located at around -200 bp in the 5´ flanking region (region D) of the human brain-type fructose-bisphosphate aldolase (aldolase C) gene has been analysed. We show by transient transfection assay and electrophoretic-mobility-shift assay (EMSA) that the binding of transcriptional activators to region D is much more efficient (80% versus 30%) in human neuroblastoma cells (SKNBE) than in the non-neuronal cell line A1251, which contains low levels of aldolase C mRNA. The sequence of region D, CAAGGTCA, is very similar to the AAAGGTCA motif present in the mouse steroid 21-hydroxylase gene; the latter motif binds nerve-growth-factor-induced B factor (NGFI-B), which is a member of the thyroid/steroid/retinoid nuclear receptor gene family. Competition experiments in EMSA and antibody-directed supershift experiments showed that NGFI-B is involved in the binding to region D of the human aldolase C gene. Furthermore, the regulation of the aldolase C gene (which is the second known target of NGFI-B) expression during development parallels that of NGFI-B.
This paper is dedicated to the memory of one of the authors, Dr. Lisa de Conciliis, who recently passed away, and who contributed actively to this study.