Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 1;93(20):10820-5.

Activation domain-mediated enhancement of activator binding to chromatin in mammalian cells.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


DNA binding by transcriptional activators is typically an obligatory step in the activation of gene expression. Activator binding and subsequent steps in transcription are repressed by genomic chromatin. Studies in vitro have suggested that overcoming this repression is an important function of some activation domains. Here we provide quantitative in vivo evidence that the activation domain of GAL4-VP16 can increase the affinity of GAL4 for its binding site on genomic DNA in mammalian cells. Moreover, the VP16 activation domain has a much greater stimulatory effect on expression from a genomic reporter gene than on a transiently transfected reporter gene, where factor binding is more permissive. We found that not all activation domains showed a greater activation potential in a genomic context, suggesting that only some activation domains can function in vivo to alleviate the repressive effects of chromatin. These data demonstrate the importance of activation domains in relieving chromatin-mediated repression in vivo and suggest that one way they function is to increase binding of the activator itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center