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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Jun;13(6):3792-801.

Multiple SWI6-dependent cis-acting elements control SWI4 transcription through the cell cycle.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SWI4 gene encodes an essential transcription factor which controls gene expression at the G1/S transition of the cell cycle. SWI4 transcription itself is cell cycle regulated, and this periodicity is crucial for the normal cell cycle regulation of HO and at least two of the G1 cyclins. Since the regulation of SWI4 is required for normal cell cycle progression, we have characterized cis- and trans-acting regulators of SWI4 transcription. Deletion analysis of the SWI4 promoter has defined a 140-bp region which is absolutely required for transcription and can function as a cell cycle-regulated upstream activating sequence (UAS). The SWI4 UAS contains three potential MluI cell cycle boxes (MCBs), which are known cell cycle-regulated promoter elements. Deletion of all three MCBs in the SWI4 UAS decreases the level of SWI4 mRNA 10-fold in asynchronous cultures but does not abolish periodicity. These data suggest that MCBs are involved in SWI4 UAS activity, but at least one other periodically regulated element must be present. Since SWI6 is known to bind to MCBs and regulate their activity, the role of SWI6 in SWI4 expression was analyzed. Although the MCBs cannot account for the full cell cycle regulation of SWI4, mutations in SWI6 eliminate the normal periodicity of SWI4 transcription. This suggests that the novel cell cycle-regulated element within the SWI4 promoter is also SWI6 dependent. The constitutive transcription of SWI4 in SWI6 mutant cells occurs at an intermediate level, which indicates that SWI6 is required for the full activation and repression of SWI4 transcription through the cell cycle. It also suggests that there is another pathway which can activate SWI4 transcription in the absence of SWI6. The second activator may also target MCB elements, since SWI4 transcription drops dramatically when they are deleted.

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