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Nucleic Acids Res. 1995 May 11;23(9):1475-80.

Transcription activation of yeast ribosomal protein genes requires additional elements apart from binding sites for Abf1p or Rap1p.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IMBW, BioCentrum Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands.


All ribosomal protein (rp) gene promoters from Saccharomyces cerevisiae studied so far contain either (usually two) binding sites for the global gene regulator Rap1p or one binding site for another global factor, Abf1p. Previous analysis of the rpS33 and rpL45 gene promoters suggested that apart from the Abf1 binding site, additional cis-acting elements play a part in transcription activation of these genes. We designed a promoter reconstruction system based on the beta-glucuronidase reporter gene to examine the role of the Abf1 binding site and other putative cis-acting elements in promoting transcription. An isolated Abf1 binding site turned out to be a weak activating element. A T-rich sequence derived from the rpS33 proximal promoter was found to be stronger, but full transcription activation was only achieved by a combination of these elements. Both in the natural rpL45 promoter and in the reconstituted promoter, a Rap1 binding site could functionally replace the Abf1 binding site. Characteristic rp gene nutritional control of transcription, evoked by a carbon source upshift or by nitrogen re-feeding to nitrogen starved cells, could only be mediated by the combined Abf1 (or Rap1) binding site and T-rich element and not by the individual elements. These results demonstrate that Abf1p and Rap1p do not activate rp genes in a prototypical fashion, but rather may serve to potentiate transcription activation through the T-rich element.

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