Walter Schaffner

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The metal-responsive transcription factor-1 (MTF-1, also termed MRE-binding transcription factor-1 or metal regulatory transcription factor-1) is a pluripotent transcriptional regulator involved in cellular adaptation to various stress conditions, primarily exposure to heavy metals but also to hypoxia or oxidative stress. MTF-1 is evolutionarily conserved(More)
An approximately 5000-year-old mummified human body was recently found in the Tyrolean Alps. The DNA from tissue samples of this Late Neolithic individual, the so-called "Ice Man," has been extracted and analyzed. The number of DNA molecules surviving in the tissue was on the order of 10 genome equivalents per gram of tissue, which meant the only multi-copy(More)
We have described and cloned previously a factor (MTF-1) that binds specifically to heavy metal-responsive DNA sequence elements in the enhancer/promoter region of metallothionein genes. MTF-1 is a protein of 72.5 kDa that contains six zinc fingers and multiple domains for transcriptional activation. Here we report the disruption of both alleles of the(More)
Transcriptional enhancers, originally discovered in viral genomes, are short, cis-acting, regulatory sequences that strongly stimulate transcription from promoters of nearby genes. We demonstrate the existence of an enhancer within a mouse immunoglobulin heavy chain gene. A DNA fragment located between the joining region and the switch recombination region(More)
We have studied the transient expression of a cloned rabbit hemoglobin beta 1 gene after its introduction into HeLa cells. Two and one-half days after transfection using the calcium phosphate technique we extracted RNA from the entire cell population and analyzed it by the S1 nuclease hybridization assay. Transcripts were barely detectable when beta-globin(More)
Many transcription factors contain proline- or glutamine-rich activation domains. Here it is shown that simple homopolymeric stretches of these amino acids can activate transcription when fused to the DNA binding domain of GAL4 factor. In vitro, activity increased with polymer length, whereas in cell transfection assays maximal activity was achieved by 10(More)
A strong transcription enhancer was identified in the genomic DNA (235 kb) of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a ubiquitous and severe pathogen of the herpesvirus group. Cotransfection of enhancerless SV40 DNA with randomly fragmented HCMV DNA yielded two SV40-HCMV recombinant viruses that had incorporated overlapping segments of HCMV DNA to substitute for the(More)
We have shown previously that the heavy metal-responsive transcriptional activator MTF-1 regulates the basal and heavy metal-induced expression of metallothioneins. To investigate the physiological function of MTF-1, we generated null mutant mice by targeted gene disruption. Embryos lacking MTF-1 die in utero at approximately day 14 of gestation. They show(More)