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Mol Cell Biol. Apr 1994; 14(4): 2503–2515.
PMCID: PMC358618

The Aspergillus nidulans abaA gene encodes a transcriptional activator that acts as a genetic switch to control development.


The Aspergillus nidulans abaA gene encodes a protein containing an ATTS DNA-binding motif and is required for the terminal stages of conidiophore development. Results from gel mobility shift and protection, missing-contact, and interference footprint assays showed that AbaA binds to the sequence 5'-CATTCY-3', where Y is a pyrimidine, making both major- and minor-groove contacts. Multiple AbaA binding sites are present in the cis-acting regulatory regions of several developmentally controlled structural genes as well as those of the upstream regulatory gene brlA, the downstream regulatory gene wetA, and abaA itself. These cis-acting regulatory regions confer AbaA-dependent transcriptional activation in a heterologous Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression system. From these observations, we propose that the AbaA transcription factor establishes a novel set of feedback regulatory loops responsible for determination of conidiophore development.

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