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Mol Cell Biol. 1986 Nov;6(11):3847-53.

Constitutive and inducible Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoters: evidence for two distinct molecular mechanisms.


his3 and pet56 are adjacent Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes that are transcribed in opposite directions from initiation sites that are separated by 200 base pairs. Under normal growth conditions, in which his3 and pet56 are transcribed at similar basal levels, a poly(dA-dT) sequence located between the genes serves as the upstream promoter element for both. In contrast, his3 but not pet56 transcription is induced during conditions of amino acid starvation, even though the critical regulatory site is located upstream of both respective TATA regions. Moreover, only one of the two normal his3 initiation sites is subject to induction. From genetic and biochemical evidence, I suggest that the his3-pet56 intergenic region contains constitutive and inducible promoters with different properties. In particular, two classes of TATA elements, constitutive (Tc) and regulatory (Tr), can be distinguished by their ability to respond to upstream regulatory elements, by their effects on the selection of initiation sites, and by their physical structure in nuclear chromatin. Constitutive and inducible his3 transcription is mediated by distinct promoters representing each class, whereas pet56 transcription is mediated by a constitutive promoter. Molecular mechanisms for these different kinds of S. cerevisiae promoters are proposed.

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