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Fungal Genet Biol. 1999 Jul-Aug;27(2-3):243-52.

HAP-Like CCAAT-binding complexes in filamentous fungi: implications for biotechnology.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.


Regulatory CCAAT boxes are found frequently in eukaryotic promoter regions. They are bound by different CCAAT-binding factors. Until now, a single CCAAT-binding complex has been reported in fungi. It is also found in higher eukaryotes and is highly conserved among eukaryotic organisms. This multimeric protein complex is designated HAP, AnCF, CBF, or NF-Y. The complex consists of at least three subunits. In fungi, only the HAP complex of Saccharomyces cerevisiae had been known for a long time. The recent cloning of genes encoding the components of the corresponding complex (AnCF/PENR1) of Aspergillus nidulans and characterization of CCAAT-regulated genes in A. nidulans, as well as other filamentous fungi, led to a deeper insight into the role of this transcription complex, in particular in aerobically growing fungi. An overview of the function of HAP-like complexes in gene regulation in filamentous fungi is presented. Some of the genes that have been found to be regulated by HAP-like complexes encode enzymes of biotechnological interest, like taka-amylase, xylanases, cellobiohydrolase, and penicillin biosynthesis enzymes. The importance of HAP-like complexes in controlling the expression of biotechnologically important genes is discussed.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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