Cancer specificity of promoters of the genes controlling cell proliferation
Violation of proliferation control is a common feature of cancer cells. We put forward the hypothesis that promoters of genes involved in the control of cell proliferation should possess intrinsic cancer specific activity. We cloned promoter regions of CDC6, POLD1, CKS1B, MCM2, and PLK1 genes into pGL3 reporter vector and studied their ability to drive heterologous gene expression in transfected cancer cells of different origin and in normal human fibroblasts. Each promoter was cloned in short (335-800 bp) and long (up to 2.3 kb) variants to cover probable location of core and whole promoter regulatory elements. Cloned promoters were significantly more active in cancer cells than in normal fibroblasts that may indicate their cancer speci ficity. Both versions of CDC6 promoters were shown to be most active while the activities of others were close to that of BIRC5 gene (survivin) gene promoter. Long and short variants of each cloned promoter demonstrated very similar cancer specificity with the exception of PLK1-long promoter that was substantially more specific than its short variant and other promoters under study. The data indicate that most of the important cis-regulatory transcription elements responsible for intrinsic cancer specificity are located in short variants of the promoters under study. CDC6 short promoter may serve as a promising candidate for transcription targeted cancer gene therapy.