An insulator element from the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus suppresses variation in transgene expression in cultured tobacco cells
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- Nagaya, S., Yoshida, K., Kato, K. et al. Mol Gen Genomics (2001) 265: 405. doi:10.1007/s004380100448
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Specialized DNA sequences known as insulators protect genes from both the positive and negative influences of nearby chromatin. Many insulators have been identified in various species; however, few function in multiple species. We have shown that an insulator from the Ars (arylsulfatase) gene of the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus functions in plant cells. Normally, expression of an introduced chimeric GUS gene is inactivated in approximately 30% of transformed tobacco BY2 clones. Transgenes containing the Ars insulator, however, were expressed in all transformed tobacco BY2 cells. The insulator did not affect the copy number, the chromosomal position of transgene integration or maximum expression levels. These results suggest that the insulator functions to suppress the variation normally associated with transgene expression in tobacco BY2 cells.