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Nature. 1989 Aug 24;340(6235):656-9.

Similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cyclic AMP-responsive promoter elements.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Organisms as diverse as bacteria and man contain genes that show transcriptional induction when the intracellular concentration of cAMP is increased. This regulated transcriptional response is mediated through specific promoter elements located, in general, upstream from the transcription start site. In Escherichia coli the element responsible for cAMP-mediated transcriptional induction is the binding site for the cAMP-receptor protein (CAP). In mammalian cells the cAMP regulatory element is composed of one or more binding sites for various transcription factors. In many instances the cAMP regulatory element contains binding sites for a family of proteins referred to as ATF. Here we provide evidence that some prokaryotic and mammalian cAMP-response elements are functionally related. First, we show that mammalian ATF binds specifically to some E. coli CAP sites, and conversely E. coli CAP binds specifically to some mammalian ATF sites. Second, we demonstrate that an E. coli CAP binding site can confer cAMP-inducibility onto a mammalian gene when assayed in transfected mammalian cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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