Reference: Hoffmann B, et al. (2001) Transcriptional autoregulation and inhibition of mRNA translation of amino acid regulator gene cpcA of filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Mol Biol Cell 12(9):2846-57

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Abstract


The CPCA protein of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans is a member of the c-Jun-like transcriptional activator family. It acts as central transcription factor of the cross-pathway regulatory network of amino acid biosynthesis and is functionally exchangeable for the general control transcriptional activator Gcn4p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to GCN4, expression of cpcA is strongly regulated by two equally important mechanisms with additive effects that lead to a fivefold increased CPCA protein amount under amino acid starvation conditions. One component of cpcA regulation involves a transcriptional autoregulatory mechanism via a CPCA recognition element (CPRE) in the cpcA promoter that causes a sevenfold increased cpcA mRNA level when cells are starved for amino acids. Point mutations in the CPRE cause a constitutively low mRNA level of cpcA and a halved protein level when amino acids are limited. Moreover, two upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in the 5' region of the cpcA mRNA are important for a translational regulatory mechanism. Destruction of both short uORFs results in a sixfold increased CPCA protein level under nonstarvation conditions and a 10-fold increase under starvation conditions. Mutations in both the CPRE and uORF regulatory elements lead to an intermediate effect, with a low cpcA mRNA level but a threefold increased CPCA protein level independent of amino acid availability. These data argue for a combined regulation of cpcA that includes a translational regulation like that of yeast GCN4 as well as a transcriptional regulation like that of the mammalian jun and fos genes.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Hoffmann B, Valerius O, Andermann M, Braus GH
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