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Discrete elements within the SV40 enhancer region display different cell-specific enhancer activities.
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The SV40 enhancer contains three genetically defined elements, called A, B and C, that can functionally compensate for one another. By using short, synthetic DNA oligonucleotides, we show that each of these elements can act autonomously as an enhancer when present as multiple tandem copies. Analysis of a progressive series of B element oligomers shows a single element is ineffective as an enhancer and that the activity of two or more elements increases with copy number. Assay in five different cell lines of two separate enhancers containing six tandem copies of either the B or C element shows that these elements possess different cell-specific activities. Parallel oligomer enhancer constructs containing closely spaced double point mutations display no enhancer activity in any of the cell lines tested, indicating that these elements represent single units of enhancer function. These elements contain either a 'core' or 'octamer' consensus sequence but these consensus sequences alone are not sufficient for enhancer activity. The different cell-specific activities of the B and C elements are consistent with functional interactions with different trans-acting factors. We discuss how tandem duplication of such dissimilar elements, as in the wild-type SV40 72-bp repeats, can serve to expand the conditions under which an enhancer can function.
Animals, Base Sequence, Cell Line, Cell Transformation, Viral, Cells, Cultured, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Genes, Regulator, Genes, Viral, Hela Cells/metabolism, Humans, Plasmids, Simian virus 40/genetics
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