Alignment of the transcription start site coincides with increased transcriptional activity from the human asparagine synthetase gene following amino acid deprivation of HepG2 cells

Hong Chen, Michael S. Kilberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Transcription initiation sites of the asparagine synthetase gene were investigated in human hepatoma cells after amino acid limitation by incubation in amino acid-complete minimal essential medium or medium lacking histidine. Cells incubated in complete minimal essential medium had mRNA transcripts with starting positions spanning across the 69 nucleotides immediately upstream of a previously designated transcription start site (+1), whereas the majority of mRNA transcripts started at nucleotide 1+ in cells incubated in histidine-free medium. Similar results were obtained regardless of whether the analysis was by 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends or a ribonuclease protection assay. Low ASNS mRNA expression in amino acid-complete medium was associated with the wide range of initiation sites, whereas preferred alignment of the general transcription machinery at nucleotide 11, observed in the amino acid deprived condition, was associated with a concurrent increase in transcription activity. To our knowledge, these results are the first example in a mammalian cell of transcription start selection by nutrient availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2463-2467
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume136
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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