A duodenum-specific enhancer regulates expression along three axes in the small intestine

Academic Article


  • Adenosine deaminase (ADA) is expressed at high levels in the epithelium of proximal small intestine. Transgenic mice were used to characterize the regulatory region governing this activation. A duodenum-specific enhancer is located in intron 2 of the human ADA gene at the central site among a cluster of seven DNase I-hypersensitive sites present in duodenal DNA. Flanking DNA, including the remaining hypersensitive sites, is required for consistent high-level enhancer function. The enhancer activates expression in a pattern identical to endogenous ADA along both the anterior-posterior axis of the small intestine and the crypt-villus differentiation axis of the intestinal epithelium. Timing of activation by the central enhancer mimics endogenous mouse ADA activation, occurring at 2-3 wk of age. However, two upstream DNA segments, one proximal and one distal, collaborate to change enhancer activation to a perinatal time point. Studies with duodenal nuclear extracts identified five distinct DNase I footprints within the enhancer. Protected regions encompass six putative binding sites for the transcription factor PDX-1, as well as proposed CDX, hepatocyte nuclear factor-4, and GATA-type sites.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dusing MR; Brickner AG; Lowe SY; Cohen MB; Wiginton DA
  • Volume

  • 279
  • Issue

  • 5 42-5