Cell-specific expression of a transfected human α1-antitrypsin gene

Gennaro Ciliberto, Luciana Dente, Riccardo Cortese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have cloned the human α1-antitrypsin (α1-AT) gene and identified the promoter and the transcription initiation point. The cloned gene, following transfection, is expressed in a cell-specific manner, being transcribed in a human hepatoma cell line (Hep3B) but not in HeLa cells. We show that the 5′ flanking region of the α1-AT gene contains DNA sequences sufficient for efficient transcription in Hep3B but not in HeLa cells. This DNA sequence also activates, in a cell-specific manner, heterologous promoters such as that of SV40; however, the effect is only obtained in one orientation, suggesting that this cis-acting cell-specific element does not share all the features generally associated with enhancers. By cotransfection-competition experiments we also show the existence of a limiting trans-acting factor, essential for the expression of the α1-AT gene in Hep3B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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