Transcriptional regulation of the human S100β gene

Francis Castets, W. Sue T. Griffin, Alexander Marks, Linda J. Van Eldik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


S100β is a calcium-binding protein produced and secreted by glial cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems. S100β promotes neuronal differentiation and survival but may be detrimental to cells if overexpressed. The selective overproduction of S100β has been implicated in the progression of the neuropathological changes in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, at high concentrations, S100β stimulates toxic intracellular pathways in cultured cells. To begin to define the regulation of S100β expression, we characterized the human S100β promoter and mapped its upstream regulatory elements by using a luciferase reporter system. The functional S100β promoter was localized to a region -168/+697 containing 168 bp upstream of the transcription initiation site of the gene. This minimal promoter was active in a variety of cell types, including those of glial, neuronal, and non-neural origin. The human S100β promoter activity is regulated by both positive and negative regulatory elements located upstream in the 5' flanking DNA regions. The regions -788/-391 and -1012/-788 contain strong positive, cell type-specific regulatory elements. Negative regulatory elements were mapped to the more distal -4437/-1012 and -1012/-788 regions of the gene. The -4437/-1012 negative element suppressed promoter activity in all cell types examined, except C6 glioma cells. These data demonstrate that the expression of the human S100β gene is under complex transcriptional regulation that allows for precise control of the S100β level in the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH Grant AG10208 (to L.V.E. and W.S.T.G.), MRC MA8067 (to A.M.), and Northwestern University Buehler Center on Aging (to L.V.E.). We thank Dr. Laurie Hudson for advice during the early stages of this work, Dr. Jingru Hu for help with statistical analyses, and Dr. D. Martin Watterson for support and encouragement.


  • Glia
  • Luciferase
  • Promoter
  • S100
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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