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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jan 15;89(2):589-93.

Regulation of DNA replication in vitro by the transcriptional activation domain of GAL4-VP16.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Studies of DNA viruses have provided evidence that eukaryotic transcriptional activator proteins can enhance the efficiency of DNA replication as well as transcription. The mechanism of this effect was studied in vitro using the chimeric transcription factor GAL4-VP16 and a DNA template containing GAL4 binding sites adjacent to the simian virus 40 origin of DNA replication. The binding of GAL4-VP16 prevented the repression of DNA replication which otherwise occurred when the template was assembled into chromatin. Relief of repression by GAL4-VP16 required both its DNA-binding and transcriptional activation domains but did not require RNA synthesis. The results are consistent with a general model in which transcriptional activators stimulate eukaryotic DNA replication by modifying the outcome of the competition between initiation factors and histones for occupancy of the origin.

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