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Published April 1990 | public
Journal Article

A Cell Type-Preferred Silencer Element That Controls the Neural-Specific Expression of the SCG10 Gene


SCG10 is a growth-associated protein that is expressed early in the development of neuronal derivatives of the neural crest. We describe here the isolation of the SCG10 chromosomal gene and the identification of regulatory regions that control its expression. The SCG10 transcription unit spans approximately 40 kb. Like other neural-specific genes, SCG10 contains multiple transcription initiation sites. The gene contains a constitutive enhancer-like element in the promoter-proximal region and a silencer located farther upstream. This silencer preferentially suppresses the activity of the enhancer in nonneuronal cells. Furthermore, the silencer is able to confer such preferential suppression upon a heterologous promoter in an orientation-independent manner. These data suggest that the expression of SCG10 in neuronal cells depends predominantly upon specific derepression.

Additional Information

© 1990 by Cell Press. Received 26 December 1989, Revised 2 February 1990. We thank Dr. Barbara Wold for helpful discussions throughout the course of this work and for a critical reading of the manuscript, Judith Rosenthal, Steven Padilla, and Li-Ching Lo for excellent technical assistance, Dr. Kai Zinn for helpful advice on RNAase protection mapping, and Chris Schoenherr for his helpful comments on this paper. We acknowledge the advice and support of Dr. Richard Axel, in whose laboratory this work was initiated. We are also grateful to Jane Johnson and Sean Tavtigian for providing control plasmids. This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant and Searle Scholars and National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigators Awards to D. J. A., and by a US-Israeli Bi national Science Foundation Grant to R. S. D. J. A. is an Assistant Investigator, and N. M. an Associate, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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