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Curr Genet. 2007 Nov;52(5-6):229-37. Epub 2007 Oct 9.

Binding of the PTA1 transcriptional activator to the divergent promoter region of the first two genes of the penicillin pathway in different Penicillium species.

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INBIOTEC, Parque Científico de León, Instituto de Biotecnología de León, Av. Real, 1, 24006, León, Spain.


The aim of this work is to establish the correlation between the transcriptional activator PTA1 and the expression of the penicillin genes in different penicillin-producing strains. The level of expression of the first two genes of the penicillin pathway was clearly higher in Penicillium chrysogenum than in Penicillium notatum and Penicillium nalgiovense. The divergent promoter pcbAB-pcbC region contains binding sequences for several transcriptional factors that are conserved in P. notatum and P. chrysogenum, but not in P. nalgiovense. Binding of the purified P. chrysogenum transcriptional activator PTA1 to the palindromic heptamer TTAGTAA took place when the P. chrysogenum 35 bp DNA fragment containing the heptamer was used as a probe, but not when the sequence occurring in P. nalgiovense was used. P. nalgiovense protein fractions purified by heparin agarose chromatography did not bind to the 35-bp DNA fragment either from P. nalgiovense or P. chrysogenum, although some degree of binding was observed when crude extracts were used. This finding may explain the low expression of pcbC in P. nalgiovense. All the P. chrysogenum strains, including the industrial strain E1, showed the same nucleotide sequence, including the consensus PTA1 binding site.

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