The CD11b/CD18 heterodimeric surface antigen is expressed exclusively on human monocytes, macrophages, granulocytes, and natural killer cells. During differentiation of myeloid cell lines, CD11b steady state messenger RNA levels increase significantly; we show here that CD11b transcription rates increase commensurately. A 1.7-kb fragment of CD11b 5′ flanking sequence directs expression of a reporter gene specifically in myeloid cell lines. Deletion analysis localizes elements directing high levels of tissue-specific reporter gene expression to the 412 bp proximal to the transcriptional start site. This sequence contains two consensus binding sites for Sp1, a GATA motif, and a purine-rich sequence that presents potential binding sites for members of the ets family of genes. Analysis of this promoter should result in the isolation of myeloid-specific transcription factors and the development of methods to direct the myeloid-specific expression of heterologous genes.

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