Promoter Elements of Eukaryotic Protein-Coding Genes

  • B. Wasylyk
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 101)


In prokaryotes, initiation of transcription is controlled by specific DNA regions called promoters. Promoters were first defined on a genetic basis (1) as cis-acting regions indispensable for the expression of bacterial genes. Biochemical studies have shown that prokaryotic promoters are located 5′ to the transcribed genes and are composed of multiple elements (2–5) as shown in Figure 1. One of these elements is involved in RNA polymerase binding. It includes the RNA start-site (consensus sequence 5′-CAT-3′), the Pribnow-Schaller box located 10 bp upstream from the start-site (consensus sequence 5′-TATAAT-3′), and frequently a third region, located in the −35 region (consensus sequence 5′-TTGACA-3′). The spatial relationship between the Pribnow-Schaller box and the −35 region is important because the insertion or deletion of a single base-pair can lead to a dramatic alteration of transcription (6). Other promoter elements, located either further upstream or downstream from the RNA start-site, interact with positive and negative regulatory proteins, which control the efficiency of transcription initiation (7–12).


Thymidine Kinase Promoter Element Simian Virus Thymidine Kinase Gene Upstream Element 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Wasylyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes de CNRS Unité 184 de Biologie Moleculaire et de Génie Génétique de l’INSERM Faculté de MédecineStrasbourg-CedéxFrance

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