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Nucleic Acids Res. Oct 25, 1995; 23(20): 4097–4103.
PMCID: PMC307349

A compilation of composite regulatory elements affecting gene transcription in vertebrates.


Over the past years, evidence has been accumulating for a fundamental role of protein-protein interactions between transcription factors in gene-specific transcription regulation. Many of these interactions run within composite elements containing binding sites for several factors. We have selected 101 composite regulatory elements identified experimentally in the regulatory regions of 64 genes of vertebrates and of their viruses and briefly described them in a compilation. Of these, 82 composite elements are of the synergistic type and 19 of the antagonistic type. Within the synergistic type composite elements, transcription factors bind to the corresponding sites simultaneously, thus cooperatively activating transcription. The factors, binding to their target sites within antagonistic type composite elements, produce opposing effects on transcription. The nucleotide sequence and localization in the genes, the names and brief description of transcription factors, are provided for each composite element, including a representation of experimental data on its functioning. Most of the composite elements (3/4) fall between -250 bp and the transcription start site. The distance between the binding sites within the composite elements described varies from complete overlapping to 80 bp. The compilation of composite elements is presented in the database COMPEL which is electronically accessible by anonymous ftp via internet.

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