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Genetics. 2005 Sep;171(1):49-61. Epub 2005 Jun 18.

High functional overlap between MluI cell-cycle box binding factor and Swi4/6 cell-cycle box binding factor in the G1/S transcriptional program in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


In budding yeast, many genes are induced early in the cell cycle. Induction of these genes has been predominantly attributed to two transcription factors, Swi4-Swi6 (SBF) and Mbp1-Swi6 (MBF). Swi4 and Mbp1 are related DNA-binding proteins with dissimilar target sequences. For most G1/S-regulated genes that we tested in a cdc20 block-release protocol for cell-cycle synchronization, removal of both Swi4 and Mbp1 was necessary and sufficient to essentially eliminate cell-cycle-regulated expression. Detectable SBF or MBF binding sites (SCBs or MCBs) in the promoters or available genome-wide promoter occupancy data do not consistently explain this functional overlap. The overlapping ability of these transcription factors to regulate many promoters with very similar cell-cycle kinetics may provide robustness to the G1/S transcriptional response, but poses a puzzle with respect to promoter-transcription factor specificity. In addition, for some genes, deletion of Mbp1 or Swi4 enhances transcription, suggesting that these factors can also function as transcriptional repressors. Finally, we observe residual G1/S transcriptional regulation in the absence of Swi4 and Mbp1.

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