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We have analysed sequences within the mouse erythropoietin enhancer which are required for oxygen regulated operation in the erythropoietin producing cell line, HepG2, and in two non-erythropoietin producing cell lines; the lung fibroblastoid cell line a23, and mouse erythroleukaemia (MEL) cells. At least three critical sites were demonstrated within a 96 nucleotide sequence. Oxygen regulated operation was dependent on sites within the first 26 nucleotides. Sequences lying 3' to this region modulated enhancer function but did not themselves convey oxygen regulated operation. In HepG2 cells these 3' sequences co-operated to permit operation of the inducible element at a distance from a promoter, but in MEL cells 3' sequences repressed activity of the inducible element. Though operation of this 3' sequence differed according to the cell type, oxygen regulated operation was dependent on the same two critical sites in the 5' region in both erythropoietin producing and non-erythropoietin producing cells. These findings support the existence of a widespread oxygen sensing system in mammalian cells which is similar to that operating in specific cells to regulate erythropoietin production, and they indicate that the system activates factors with similar DNA sequence specificity in different cells.


Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





297 - 306


Animals, Base Sequence, Cell Line, DNA Mutational Analysis, Deoxyribonuclease I, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Erythropoietin, Gene Expression Regulation, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Oxygen, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Tumor Cells, Cultured