Alternative promotion of aromatase P-450 expression in the human placenta

Michael W. Kilgore, Gary D. Means, Carole R. Mendelson, Evan R. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We have previously reported the isolation and characterization of the human gene encoding aromatase cytochrome P-450 (P-450AROM). The gene had been demonstrated to span at least 52 kb and contain ten exons, the first of which, exon I.1, is untranslated. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a P-450AROM cDNA from a human placental primer-extended cDNA library which contains a unique 5' sequence. This cDNA has been isolated and sequences used to screen a human placental genomic library for the presence of a unique first exon. The exon (exon I.2) lies 9 kb 5' of the second, ATG-containing exon (exon II) and is spliced onto exon II at the same site as that reported for exon I.1. DNA sequence analysis indicates that exon I.2 has a putative TATA (TAAA) sequence 33 base pairs (bp) upstream from a putative transcription start site and putative CAAT (CATT) binding sequence beginning at 54 bp upstream from this start site. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification experiments indicate that mRNA containing exon I.2-specific sequences can be demonstrated in tissues of fetal, but not adult, origin. These data have been confirmed by Northern analysis in the placenta. Characterization of this genomic clone containing exons I.2 and II now establishes the P-450AROM gene to be at least 72 kb in length and raises new questions regarding tissue specific and developmental control of aromatase expression in the human.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R9-R16
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • Alternative promoter
  • P-450
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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