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FEBS Lett. 2003 Dec 18;555(3):516-20.

Thiamine-regulated gene expression of Aspergillus oryzae thiA requires splicing of the intron containing a riboswitch-like domain in the 5'-UTR.

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  • 1Research and Development Department, Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co. Ltd., 4-5-5, Sumiyoshiminami-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe 658-0041, Japan. kubodera@hakutsuru.co.jp


Exogenous thiamine regulates Aspergillus oryzae thiA, which is involved in thiamine synthesis. One of the two introns in its 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) contains motifs (regions A and B) highly conserved among fungal thiamine biosynthesis genes. Deletion of either region relieved the repression by thiamine and thiamine inhibited intron splicing, suggesting that regions A and B are required for efficient splicing. Furthermore, transcript splicing was essential for thiA gene expression. These observations suggest a novel gene expression regulatory mechanism in filamentous fungi, in which exogenous thiamine controls intron splicing to regulate gene expression. Interestingly, regions A and B constitute a part of a thiamine pyrophosphate-binding riboswitch-like domain that has been quite recently found in the 5'-UTR of thiA.

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