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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Feb;13(2):1069-77.

Analysis of the SWI4/SWI6 protein complex, which directs G1/S-specific transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104-2092.


SWI4 and SWI6 play a crucial role in START-specific transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SWI4 and SWI6 form a specific complex on the SCB (SWI4/6-dependent cell cycle box) sequences which have been found in the promoters of HO and G1 cyclin genes. Overproduction of SWI4 eliminates the SWI6 dependency of HO transcription in vivo and results in a new SWI6-independent, SCB-specific complex in vitro, which is heterogeneous and reacts with SWI4 antibodies. The C terminus of SWI4 is not required for SWI6-independent binding of SWI4 to SCB sequences, but it is necessary and sufficient for association with SWI6. Both SWI4 and SWI6 contain two copies of a 33-amino-acid TPLH repeat, which has been implicated in protein-protein interactions in other proteins. These repeats are not required for the SWI4-SWI6 association. Alanine substitutions in both TPLH repeats of SWI6 reduce its activity but do not affect the stability of the protein or its association with SWI4. However, these mutations reduce the ability of the SWI4/6 complex to bind DNA. Deletion of the lucine zipper motif in SWI6 also allows SWI4/6 complex formation, but it eliminates the DNA-binding ability of the SWI4/6 complex. This indicates that the integrity of two different regions of SWI6 is required for DNA binding by the SWI4/6 complex. From these data, we propose that the sequence-specific DNA-binding domain resides in SWI4 but that SWI6 controls the accessibility of this domain in the SWI4/6 complex.

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