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The major positive regulatory activity of the human alpha-globin gene complex has been localized to an element associated with a strong erythroid-specific DNase I hypersensitive site (HS -40) located 40 kb upstream of the zeta 2-globin mRNA cap site. Footprint and gel shift analyses of the element have demonstrated the presence of four binding sites for the nuclear factor GATA-1 and two sites corresponding to the AP-1 consensus binding sequence. This region resembles one of the major elements of the beta-globin locus control region in its constitution and characteristics; this together with evidence from expression studies suggests that HS -40 is a primary element controlling alpha-globin gene expression.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Cell Biol

Publication Date





4679 - 4689


Base Sequence, DNA, Deoxyribonuclease I, Drug Resistance, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Gene Expression Regulation, Globins, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Multigene Family, Neomycin, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Restriction Mapping, Transformation, Genetic