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EMBO J. 1995 Feb 15;14(4):779-90.

The Aspergillus PacC zinc finger transcription factor mediates regulation of both acid- and alkaline-expressed genes by ambient pH.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Bacteriology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, UK.


The pH regulation of gene expression in Aspergillus nidulans is mediated by pacC, whose 678 residue-derived protein contains three putative Cys2His2 zinc fingers. Ten pacCc mutations mimicking growth at alkaline pH remove between 100 and 214 C-terminal residues, including a highly acidic region containing an acidic glutamine repeat. Nine pacC+/- mutations mimicking acidic growth conditions remove between 299 and 505 C-terminal residues. Deletion of the entire pacC coding region mimics acidity but leads additionally to poor growth and conidiation. A PacC fusion protein binds DNA with the core consensus GCCARG. At alkaline ambient pH, PacC activates transcription of alkaline-expressed genes (including pacC itself) and represses transcription of acid-expressed genes. pacCc mutations obviate the need for pH signal transduction.

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