Transcriptional regulation of the human polymeric Ig receptor gene: Analysis of basal promoter elements

Paula M. Hempen, Kimberly M. Phillips, Pamela S. Conway, Katrina H. Sandoval, Tracey A. Schneeman, Hsin Jung Wu, Charlotte S. Kaetzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Secretory Igs provide the first line of adaptive immune defense against ingested, inhaled, and sexually transmitted pathogens at mucosal surfaces. The polymeric Ig receptor regulates transport of dimeric IgA and pentameric IgM into external secretions. The level of expression of polymeric Ig receptor is controlled to a large extent by transcription of the PIGR gene in mucosal epithelial cells. Here we present a detailed analysis of the promoter of the PIGR gene by transient transfection of luciferase reporter plasmids into cultured cell lines. Comparisons of the human and mouse PIGR promoters in human and mouse intestinal and liver cell lines demonstrated that the human PIGR promoter was 4- to 5-fold more active than the mouse PIGR promoter in all cell types, and that both the human and mouse PIGR promoters were more active in intestinal than in liver cell lines. Targeted deletions of 22-bp segments of the human PIGR promoter revealed that the region from nt -63 to -84 is crucial for basal transcription, and that two upstream regions can act as positive or negative regulators. Point mutations within the region from nt -63 to -84 demonstrated that an E box motif, which binds the basic helix-loop-helix protein upstream stimulatory factor, is required for PIGR promoter activity. Two additional regulatory motifs were identified in the proximal promoter region: a binding site for AP2, and an inverted repeat motif that binds an unidentified protein. These findings suggest that cooperative binding of multiple transcription factors regulates basal activity of the human PIGR promoter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1912-1921
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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