Some of the elements involved in the erythroid-specific transcriptional regulation of the human γ- and β-globin genes and located inside or in the immediate proximity of these genes have been identified as sequences which bind erythroid-specific factors. In the present study, we found two regions located within 1 kb in 5´ to the α2- and in 3´ to the α1 globin genes which contribute to the induction of human α-globin genes following erythroid differentiation in stable MEL transformants. By DNAse I footprinting and gel mobility shift assays, we identified several GATA-1 and one AP-1/NF-E2-binding sites located inside these regions. These results strengthen the idea that, like for all other globin genes, flanking regions contribute in vivo to the regulation of human α-globin gene expression.

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