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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Nov 15;29(22):4625-32.

A downstream regulatory element located within the coding sequence mediates autoregulated expression of the yeast fatty acid synthase gene FAS2 by the FAS1 gene product.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Biochemie und Genetik, Lehrstuhl Biochemie, Universität Erlangen/Nürnberg, Staudtstrasse 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany.


The fatty acid synthase genes FAS1 and FAS2 of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are transcriptionally co-regulated by general transcription factors (such as Reb1, Rap1 and Abf1) and by the phospholipid-specific heterodimeric activator Ino2/Ino4, acting via their corresponding upstream binding sites. Here we provide evidence for a positive autoregulatory influence of FAS1 on FAS2 expression. Even with a constant FAS2 copy number, a 10-fold increase of FAS2 transcript amount was observed in the presence of FAS1 in multi-copy, compared to a fas1 null mutant. Surprisingly, the first 66 nt of the FAS2 coding region turned out as necessary and sufficient for FAS1-dependent gene expression. FAS2-lacZ fusion constructs deleted for this region showed high reporter gene expression even in the absence of FAS1, arguing for a negatively-acting downstream repression site (DRS) responsible for FAS1-dependent expression of FAS2. Our data suggest that the FAS1 gene product, in addition to its catalytic function, is also required for the coordinate biosynthetic control of the yeast FAS complex. An excess of uncomplexed Fas1 may be responsible for the deactivation of an FAS2-specific repressor, acting via the DRS.

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