HS2 enhancer function is blocked by a transcriptional terminator inserted between the enhancer and the promoter

Jianhua Ling, Lincoyan Ainol, Ling Zhang, Xiuping Yu, Wenhu Pi, Dorothy Tuan Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


The HS2 enhancer in the β-globin locus control region regulates transcription of the globin genes 10-50 kb away. How the HS2 enhancer acts over this distance is not clearly understood. Earlier studies show that in erythroid cells the HS2 enhancer initiates synthesis of intergenic RNAs from sites within and downstream of the enhancer, and the enhancer-initiated RNAs are transcribed through the intervening DNA into the cis-linked promoter and gene. To investigate the functional significance of the enhancer-initiated transcription, here we inserted the lac operator sequence in the intervening DNA between the HS2 enhancer and the eglobin promoter in reporter plasmids and integrated the plasmids into erythroid K562 cells expressing the lac repressor protein. We found that the interposed lac operator/repressor complex blocked the elongation of enhancer-initiated transcription through the intervening DNA and drastically reduced HS2 enhancer function as measured by the level of mRNA synthesized from the ε-globin promoter. The results indicate that the tracking and transcription mechanism of the HS2 enhancer-assembled transcriptional machinery from the enhancer through the intervening DNA into the cis-linked promoter can mediate enhancer-promoter interaction over a long distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51704-51713
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 3 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this