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EMBO J. 1996 Jun 3;15(11):2791-801.

Nitrogen metabolite signalling involves the C-terminus and the GATA domain of the Aspergillus transcription factor AREA and the 3' untranslated region of its mRNA.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Donnan Laboratories, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.


AREA is a GATA transcription factor which mediates nitrogen metabolite repression in Aspergillus nidulans in response to intracellular glutamine levels. We have identified and localized three elements important to modulation of AREA function: a region of 13 residues within the DNA-binding GATA domain which forms a putative extended loop structure, the 12 C-terminal residues, and sequences within a 218 nucleotide region of the 3' UTR. The 12 C-terminal residues are also required for transcriptional activation at a subset of loci under areA control. Specific deletions within the 3' UTR and the C-terminus cause similar levels of derepression and the mutations are additive, implicating two principal signal transduction pathways. The contribution of the 3' UTR to AREA modulation is effected at the level of transcript stability such that the areA mRNA is at least five times more stable under nitrogen-derepressing conditions than it is under repressing growth conditions.

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