Characterization of an upstream enhancer region in the promoter of the human endothelial nitric-oxide synthase gene

Yves Laumonnier, Sophie Nadaud, Monique Agrapart, Florent Soubrier*

*Corresponding author for this work
48 Citations (Scopus)


The endothelial nitric-oxide synthase gene is constitutively expressed in endothelial cells. Several transcriptionally active regulatory elements have been identified in the proximal promoter, including a GATA-2 and an Sp-1 binding site. Because they cannot account for the constitutive expression of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase gene in a restricted number of cells, we have searched for other cell-specific regulatory elements. By DNase I hypersensitivity mapping and deletion studies we have identified a 269-base pair activator element located 4.9 kilobases upstream from the transcription start site that acts as an enhancer. DNase I footprinting and linker-scanning experiments showed that several regions within the 269-base pair enhancer are important for transcription factor binding and for full enhancer activity. The endothelial specificity of this activation seems partly due to interaction between this enhancer in its native configuration and the promoter in endothelial cells. EMSA experiments suggested the implication of MZF-like, AP-2, Sp-1-related, and Ets-related factors. Among Ets factors, Erg was the only one able to bind to cognate sites in the enhancer, as found by EMSA and supershift experiments, and to activate the transcriptional activity of the enhancer in cotransfection experiments. Therefore, multiple protein complexes involving Erg, other Ets-related factors, AP-2, Sp-1-related factor, and MZF-like factors are important for the function of this enhancer in endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
Pages (from-to)40732-40741
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 29.12.2000

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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