Neural polypyrimidine tract-binding protein nPTB, originally identified as the neuronal counterpart of the hnRNPI/PTB protein, is an RNA binding protein involved into tissue-specific alternative splicing regulation. Here we describe the functional characterization of the promoter sequence of nPTB in HeLa and neuroblastoma cells. By means of genomic sequence analysis we have isolated and cloned a 1587-base pair region upstream the human nPTB coding region. The nPTB proximal promoter, although rich in G+C content and presenting putative binding sites for the transcription factors Sp1, NF-1, NF-kB and Oct-1, lacks a typical TATA box. Luciferase transient expression assays using deletion mutants have identified the proximal promoter region at -125 relative to the transcription start site. Alignment of human, murine and chimpanzee genomic sequences upstream the nPTB exon 1 has provided evidences for the evolutionary conservation of specific transcription factor binding sites.
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