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Yeast. 2004 Feb;21(3):219-39.

SRE1 and SRE2 are two specific steroid-responsive modules of Candida drug resistance gene 1 (CDR1) promoter.

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School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


CDR1 gene encoding an ATP-driven drug extrusion pump has been implicated in the development of azole-resistance in Candida albicans. Although the upregulation of CDR1 expression by various environmental factors has been documented, the molecular mechanism underlying such process is poorly understood. We have demonstrated earlier that the CDR1 promoter encompasses a large number of cis-regulatory elements, presumably mediating its response to various drugs. In this study we have identified a novel steroid responsive region (SRR) conferring beta-oestradiol and progesterone inducibility on the CDR1 promoter. The SRR is located -696 to -521 bp upstream of the transcription start site; it is modular in nature and can confer steroid responsiveness to a heterologous promoter (ADH1) linked to a GFP reporter gene. In vitro DNase I protection analyses of SRR revealed two progesterone responsive sequences (-628 to -594 and -683 to -648) and one beta-oestradiol responsive sequence (-628 to -577), which was further corroborated by the gel mobility shift assay. Deletion analyses within the SRR further delimited these steroid responsive sequences into two distinct elements, viz. SRE1 and SRE2. While SRE1 (-677 to -648) responds only to progesterone, SRE2 (-628 to -598) responded to both progesterone and beta-oestradiol. Both SRE1 and SRE2 were specific for steroids, as they did not respond to other drugs, such as cycloheximide, miconazole and terbinafine. In silico comparison of the SRE1/2 with the promoter sequences of other MDR (CDR2 and PDR5) and non-MDR (HSP90) steroid-responsive genes revealed a similarity with respect to conservation of three 5 bp stretches (AAGAA, CCGAA and ATTGG). Taken together, we have identified a novel steroid responsive cis-regulatory sequence in the CDR1 promoter, which presumably can be instrumental in understanding the steroid response cascade in Candida albicans.

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