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Characterization and regulatory effect of gamma-glutamyltransferase messenger RNA untranslated regions in human leukemia.

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In this paper we report the presence and function of the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) from the mRNA encoding human gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) in three different hematopoietic cell lines (HL-60, U-937 and K-562) as well as in the RNA of the leukocyte fraction from six acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL). Results obtained by RNase protection analysis demonstrate the presence of a unique form of 5'UTR expressed in most human tissues. In order to investigate the possible role of this type of sequence on regulation of GGT in hematopoietic cells, plasmid constructs carrying human hepatoma GGT 5'UTR and a luciferase reporter gene were transfected into the three blood cell lines. Compared to control untransfected cells, transfected HL-60 and K-562 showed a decrease in reporter gene activity of 51 and 73%, respectively. In contrast, transfected U-937 showed a 139% increase of reporter gene activity. Results were compared to GGT activity in the relevant cells and we concluded that the 5'UTR appears to have a regulatory role in GGT expression as a tissue-specific modulator of translation.

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