Regulation of the mouse sex-limited protein (Slp) gene is unusual in that hormone response is conferred by the 5′ LTR of an upstream inserted provirus, dubbed the imposon (imp1). In a search for additional genes whose regulation has been affected by retrotransposition events, we isolated two partial proviral elements by stringent screening of a mouse genomic library. One clone (imp2) contained a portion of the envelope gene and a 3′ LTR that was nearly identical to the 3′ LTR of imp1; this similarity extended to insertion into a B1 repetitive element. The second proviral clone (imp3) contained a 5′ LTR and associated coding sequences, but lacked its 3′ LTR; the LTR of imp3 differed by 12% from the imp1 sequence. To assess potential hormone response, proviral enhancer regions cloned into reporter vectors were tested in transfection. The imp2 enhancer was similar in behavior to impl, conferring both androgen and glucocorticoid induction in one fragment context and an androgen-specific response in another. In contrast, the imp3 enhancer allowed high expression in the absence of hormone and was less responsive to steroids in general and androgen in particular. These three proviral elements define a small family of steroid responsive proviruses in the mouse genome, and at least one member has had a lasting impact on an endogenous gene’s regulation.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 24, 2009
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