Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
We describe a new biochemical technique, "promoter competition assay," for examining the role of cis-acting DNA elements in tissue cultures. Recent advances in tissue engineering permit the culture of a variety of cells. Many tissues are engineered, however, without an appropriate understanding of molecular machinery that regulates gene expression and cellular growth. For elucidating the role of cis-acting regulatory elements in cellular differentiation and growth, we developed the promoter competition assay. This assay uses a transient transfer into cells of double-stranded DNA fragments consisting of cis-acting regulatory elements. The transferred DNA fragments act as a competitor and titrate the function of their genomic counterparts. Using synovial cells derived from a rheumatoid arthritis patient, we examined a role of NF-kB binding sites in the regulation of the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) genes. The results support a stimulatory role of NF-kB in transcriptional regulation of MMP-1 and MMP-13.