Isolation and characterization of a new gene, sre, which encodes a GATA-type regulatory protein that controls iron transport in Neurospora crassa
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Multiple GATA factors – regulatory proteins with consensus zinc finger motifs that bind to DNA elements containing a GATA core sequence – exist in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. One GATA factor, NIT2, controls nitrogen metabolism, whereas two others, WC-1 and WC-2, regulate genes responsive to blue light induction. A gene encoding a new GATA factor, named SRE, was isolated from Neurospora using a PCR-mediated method. Sequence analysis of the new GATA factor gene revealed an ORF specifying 587 amino acids, which is interrupted by two small introns. Unlike all previously known Neurospora GATA factors, which possess a single zinc-finger DNA-binding motif, SRE contains two GATA-type zinc fingers. The deduced amino acid sequence of SRE shows significant similarity to URBS1 of Ustilago and SREP of Penicillium. A loss-of-function mutation was created by the RIP procedure. Analysis of sre+ and sre− strains revealed that SRE acts as a negative regulator of iron uptake in Neurospora by controlling the synthesis of siderophores. Siderophore biosynthesis is repressed by high iron concentrations in the wild-type strain but not in sre− mutant cells. The sre promoter contains a number of GATA sequences; however, expression of sre mRNA occurs in a constitutive fashion and is not regulated by the concentration of iron available to the cells.
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