Molecular architecture of the hsp70 promoter after deletion of the TATA box or the upstream regulation region

Janet A. Weber, Debra J. Taxman, Quinn Lu, David S. Gilmour

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53 Scopus citations


GAGA factor, TFIID, and paused polymerase are present on the hsp70 promoter in Drosophila melanogaster prior to transcriptional activation. In order to investigate the interplay between these components, mutant constructs were analyzed after they had been transformed into flies on P elements. One construct lacked the TATA box and the other lacked the upstream regulatory, region where GAGA factor binds. Transcription of each mutant during heat shock was at least 50-fold less than that of a normal promoter construct. Before and after heat shock, both mutant promoters were found to adopt a DNase I hypersensitive state that included the region downstream from the transcription start site. High-resolution analysis of the DNase I cutting pattern identified proteins that could be contributing to the hypersensitivity. GAGA factor footprints were clearly evident in the upstream region of the TATA deletion construct, and a partial footprint possibly caused by TFIID was evident on the TATA box of the upstream deletion construct. Permanganate treatment of intact salivary glands was used to further characterize each promoter construct. Paused polymerase and TFIID were readily detected on the normal promoter construct, whereas both deletions exhibited reduced levels of each of these factors. Hence both the TATA box and the upstream region are required to efficiently recruit TFIID and a paused polymerase to the promoter prior to transcriptional activation. In contrast, GAGA factor appears to be capable of binding and establishing a DNase I hypersensitive region in the absence of TFIID and polymerase. Interestingly, purified GAGA factor was found to bind near the transcription start site, and the strength of this interaction was increased by the presence of the upstream region. GAGA factor alone might be capable of establishing an open chromatin structure that encompasses the upstream regulatory region as well as the core promoter region, thus facilitating the binding of TFIID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3799-3808
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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