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Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Jun 15;24(12):2204-11.

Common DNA structural features exhibited by eukaryotic ribosomal gene promoters.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génétique GDR CNRS 976, Faculté de Médicine, Marseille, France.


Nucleotide sequences of DNA regions containing eukaryotic ribosomal promoters were analysed using strategies designed to reveal sequence-directed structural features. DNA curvature, duplex stability and pattern of twist angle variation were studied by computer modelling. Although ribosomal promoters are known to lack sequence homology (unless very closely related species are considered), investigation of these structural characteristics uncovered striking homologies in all the taxonomic groups examined so far. This wide conservation of DNA structures, while DNA sequence is not conserved, suggests that the determined structures are fundamental for ribosomal promoter function. Moreover, this result agrees well with the recent observations showing that RNA polymerase I transcription factors have not evolved as intensively as previously suspected.

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