Genomic DNA encoding the rat tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene was isolated from a lambda phage library using a nick-translated fragment froa a cDNA clone for rat TH. We have determined the Initiation site for TH RJJA synthesis and have sequenced 1100 bases of the primary transcript and 5′ flanking region. The 5′ end of the transcript is the same in several rat tissues in which TH is expressed as well as in rat pheochromocytooa cells (PC). RNA prepared from PC cells that had been stimulated with dexamethasone also mapped to the same transcription start site. Sequence upstream from the initiation site contains the canonical TATA box, but no apparent CAAT box. When a portion of the 5′ flanking region of the TH gene (-773 to + 27) is fused to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene, it promotes expression of CAT in pheochromocytoma cells and GH, cells, but not in two neural tumour lines, RT4-D and B103, nor in several non neural cell lines. This suggests that this region of the TH gene has features that confer tissue-restricted expression on the TH promoter.
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