An enhancer in the first intron of the human purine nucleoside phosphorylase-encoding gene

Jon J. Jonsson, Andrea Converse, R. Scott Mclvor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


In previous studies characterizing intron-dependent expression of the human purine nucleoside phosphorylase-encoding gene (PNP), we identified a putative enhancer sequence in the first intron which was capable of mediating increased cat reporter gene expression in transfected murine NIH 3T3 cells in a position- and orientation-independent manner. In order to further characterize this enhancer activity, the nucleotide sequence was determined for the region of intron 1 to which this activity was originally ascribed. The sequence was analyzed for the presence of binding sites for known transcription factors, but none were identified. A 444-bp downstream portion of the intron-1 sequence enhanced cat expression either in conjunction with a human PNP promoter sequence or with a 105-bp heterologous herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (TK) promoter. Nested deletions of the downstream intron-1 sequence fused to a TK::cat fusion gene localized the enhancer activity to a 170-bp sequence in intron 1. A 154-bp HgiAI fragment (bp 424 to 577 of intron 1) excised from this region contained enhancer activity which varied directly with the number of fragments inserted upstream from the TK::cat fusion gene. However, inversion of the HgiAI fragment in a PNP abbreviated gene, or relocation of the HgiAI fragment from intron 1 to a position upstream from the PNP promoter, reduced or eliminated PNP expression. The effect of the intron-1 enhancer element on PNP expression is thus maximized in a position- and orientation-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 25 1994


  • Recombinant DNA
  • T-cell immunodeficiency
  • gene therapy
  • transient expression

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