Biochim Biophys Acta 2004 Jan;1676(1):104-11
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Respiratory, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine, University of Utah Health Science Center and VA Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.
Leukocyte elastase (LE) degrades connective tissue, is involved in the inflammatory process and implicated in cyclic and congenital neutropenia. The human LE gene is within a serine proteinase locus on chromosome 19 pter13.3. Our observations demonstrate that LE gene expression is regulated by PU.1, a cytidine-rich and a Myb binding site. The LE promoter has two cytidine-rich sites at -158 and -185. The -158 is the active site and it is closest to the PU.1 site. Proximity is essential to activity since separation of the -158 and PU.1 sites by a 20-base pair oligonucleotide reduced promoter activity by 50%. This suggests physical interaction between the transcription proteins binding to the PU.1 and -158 sites. The nuclear protein that binds the -158 site is present in B and T lymphocytes and an erythroleukemia cell line in addition to being abundant in the promyelocytic stage of neutrophil maturation when the LE gene is expressed. The protein binding to the -158 site is absent or expressed at low levels in non-hematopoietic cell lines. We have identified the transcription factors essential for human LE gene expression. Comparison with the mouse LE gene shows similarities and differences.