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23 January 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(5):404-408. doi:10.7150/ijms.8033

Short Research Communication

All Human EF1α Promoters Are Not Equal: Markedly Affect Gene Expression in Constructs from Different Sources

Changyu Zheng, Bruce J. Baum

Molecular Physiology and Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD 20892-1190.


The promoter is a major element in the expression cassette of gene therapy vectors. Optimal promoter selection can enhance target specificity and gene expression. Recently, we evaluated three different human elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1α) promoters. The three promoters were put into the same expression vector, pAC-luc, driving expression of the luciferase cDNA. The activity from one EF1α promoter (termed EF1α -3), obtained in a commercial vector, was markedly lower when tested in vitro (from 50 - 500 x) in four cell lines and in vivo in rat submandibular glands (~250 x). Sequence differences in the EF1α -3 promoter likely account for the activity differences seen. Investigators need to recognize that all promoters of the same name may not be equivalent in driving transgene expression.

Keywords: promoter, EF1α, gene therapy.

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How to cite this article:
Zheng C, Baum BJ. All Human EF1α Promoters Are Not Equal: Markedly Affect Gene Expression in Constructs from Different Sources. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(5):404-408. doi:10.7150/ijms.8033. Available from