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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Impact factor: 1.571

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.v14.i3.20
12 pages

Sp1 Control of Gene Expression in Myeloid Cells

Karen K. Resendes
Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912
Alan G. Rosmarin
Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912; and Division of Hematology, Brown University Department of Medicine and the Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI 02906

ABSTRACT

Gene transcription plays a critical role in the differentiation of myeloid cells. However, there is no single, master regulator of all myeloid genes. Rather, myeloid gene transcription is regulated by the combinatorial effects of a limited number of key transcription factors. Sp1 is a powerful activator of gene transcription in many cell types. Although it is wildly expressed, Sp1 binds and activates the promoters of a large number of important myeloid genes. This presents the paradox of how a widely expressed transcription factor can regulate lineage-specific gene transcription. This review discusses the structure, function, and expression patterns of Sp1 and its related Sp family members. Illustrative examples of the tissue-specific regulation of myeloid target genes are presented. The roles of post-translational modifications of Sp1, alterations in target gene chromatin structure, and important cooperating transcription factors are discussed. Thus, Sp1 serves as a model of how a widely expressed transcription factor regulates the expression of tissue-specific genes.