Lian S, Potula HH, Pillai MR, Van Stry M, Koyanagi M, Chung L, Watanabe M, Bix M
Mina is an epigenetic gene regulatory protein known to function in multiple physiological and pathological contexts, including pulmonary inflammation, cell proliferation, cancer and immunity. We showed previously that the level of Mina gene expression is subject to natural genetic variation linked to 21 SNPs occurring in the Mina 5' region. In order to explore the mechanisms regulating Mina gene expression, we set out to molecularly characterize the Mina promoter in the region encompassing these SNPs. We used three kinds of assays--reporter, gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation--to analyze a 2 kb genomic fragment spanning the upstream and intron 1 regions flanking exon 1. Here we discovered a pair of Mina promoters (P1 and P2) and a P1-specific enhancer element (E1). Pharmacologic inhibition and siRNA knockdown experiments suggested that Sp1/3 transcription factors trigger Mina expression through additive activity targeted to a cluster of four Sp1/3 binding sites forming the P1 promoter. These results set the stage for comprehensive analysis of Mina gene regulation from the context of tissue specificity, the impact of inherited genetic variation and the nature of upstream signaling pathways.