Curved DNA structures with a left-handed superhelical conformation can activate eukaryotic transcription. However, their potency in transgene activation in embryonic stem (ES) cells has not been examined. T20 is an artificial curved DNA of 180 bp that serves as a transcriptional activator. We investigated the effect of T20 on transcription in mouse ES cell lines or hepatocytes differentiated from them. We established 10 sets of cell lines each harboring a single copy of the reporter construct. Each set comprised a T20-harboring cell line and a T20-less control cell line. Analyses showed that in ES cells and in hepatocytes originating from these cells, T20 both activated and repressed transcription in a manner that was dependent on the locus of reporter. The present and previous studies strongly suggest that in cells that have a strict gene regulation system, transcriptional activation by T20 occurs only in a transcriptionally active locus in the genome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas