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Gene. 1999 Apr 16;230(2):249-57.

Binding of the C6-zinc cluster protein, AFLR, to the promoters of aflatoxin pathway biosynthesis genes in Aspergillus parasiticus.

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Southern Regional Research Center, USDA, PO Box 19687, New Orleans, LA 70179, USA.


AFLR is a Zn2Cys6-type sequence-specific DNA-binding protein that is thought to be necessary for expression of most of the genes in the aflatoxin pathway gene cluster in Aspergillus parasiticus and A. flavus, and the sterigmatocystin gene cluster in A. nidulans. However, it was not known whether AFLR bound to the promoter regions of each of the genes in the cluster. Recently, A. nidulans AFLR was shown to bind to the motif 5'-TCGN5CGA-3'. In the present study, we examined the binding of AFLR to promoter regions of 11 genes in the A. parasiticus cluster. Based on electrophoretic mobility shift assays, the genes nor1, pksA, adhA, norA, ver1, omtA, ordA, and, vbs, had at least one 5'-TCGN5CGA-3' binding site within 200bp of the translation start site, and pksA and ver1 had an additional binding site further upstream. Although the promoter region of avnA lacked this motif, AFLR bound weakly to the sequence 5'-TCGCAGCCCGG-3' at -110bp. One region in the promoter of the divergently transcribed genes aflR/aflJ bound weakly to AFLR even though it contained a site with at most only 7bp of the 5'-TCGN5CGA-3' motif. This partial site may be recognized by a monomeric form of AFLR. Based on a comparison of 16 possible sites, the preferred binding sequence was 5'-TCGSWNNSCGR-3'.

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