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Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Jan;9(1):34-42.

Adjacent upstream activation sequence elements synergistically regulate transcription of ADH2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


A 22-base-pair (bp) inverted repeat present in the ADH2 promoter is an upstream activation sequence (UAS1) which confers ADR1-dependent activation upon a heterologous Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoter. UAS1 was nonfunctional when placed within an intron 3' to the transcription start site. The 11-bp sequence which constitutes one-half of the UAS1 palindrome did not activate transcription in a single copy, as direct repeats, or in an inverted orientation opposite to that of ADH2 UAS1. Furthermore, two pairs of symmetrical point mutations within UAS1 significantly reduced activation. This result suggests that a specific orientation of sequences within UAS1 is necessary for ADR1-dependent activation. We determined that an ADR1-dependent complex was formed with UAS1 and, to a lesser extent, with the nonfunctional 11-bp half palindrome. However, the 11 bp did not confer UAS activity, suggesting that ADR1 binding is not sufficient for activation in vivo. ADR1 did not bind to mutant UAS1 sequences in vitro, indicating that their decreased activation is attributable to a reduced affinity of ADR1 for these sequences. We also identified an additional 20-bp ADH2 element (UAS2) that increased the expression of CYC1-lacZ 20-fold when combined with UAS1. UAS2 permitted ADR1-independent, glucose-regulated expression of the hybrid gene. Consistent with this observation, ADR1 did not form a detectable complex with UAS2. Deletion of UAS2 at the chromosomal ADH2 locus virtually abolished ADH2 derepression and had no effect on glucose repression.

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