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Mol Gen Genet. 1992 Nov;235(2-3):365-72.

The cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter is regulated by cAMP in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Vienna, Austria.


The cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter confers strong gene expression in plants, animals and fission yeast, but not in budding yeast. On investigating this paradox, we found that in budding yeast the promoter acts through two domains. Whereas the upstream domain acts as a silencer, the downstream domain couples expression to the nutritional state of the cells via the RAS/cAMP pathway. Point mutations indicate that two boxes with similarity to the cAMP regulated element (CRE) of mammalian cells mediate this response. Gel retardation assays show that, in both yeast and plant protein extracts, factors bind to this promoter element. Therefore, transcriptional activation appears to be highly conserved at the level of transcription factors and specific DNA target elements in eukaryotes. This offers new ways to investigate gene regulation mechanisms of higher eukaryotes, which are not as amenable to genetic analysis as yeast.

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