The Zinc Binuclear Cluster Activator AlcR Is Able to Bind to Single Sites but Requires Multiple Repeated Sites for Synergistic Activation of thealcAGene inAspergillus nidulans
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The alcA gene which is part of the recently identified ethanol regulon, is one of the most strongly inducible genes in Aspergillus nidulans. Its transcriptional activation is mediated by the AlcR transactivator which contains a DNA-binding domain belonging to the C6 zinc binuclear cluster family. AlcR differs from the other members of this family by several features, the most striking characteristic being its binding to both symmetric and asymmetric DNA sites with the same apparent affinity.
... parent affinity. However, AlcR is also able to bind to a single site with high affinity, suggesting that unlike the other C6 proteins, AlcR binds as a monomer. In this report, we show that AlcR targets, to be functional in vivo, have to be organized as inverted or direct repeats. In addition, we show a strong synergistic activation of alcA transcription in which the number and the position of the AlcR-binding sites are crucial. The fact that the AlcR unit for in vitro binding is a single site whereas the in vivo functional unit is a repeat opens the question of the mechanism of the strong alcA transactivation. These results show that AlcR displays both in vitro and in vivo a new range of binding specificity and provides a novel example in the C6 zinc cluster protein family.