Isolation and characterization of cDNA for DREF, a promoter-activating factor for Drosophila DNA replication-related genes.

Abstract:

DREF, a transcription regulatory factor which specifically binds to the promoter-activating element DRE (DNA replication-related element) of DNA replication-related genes, was purified to homogeneity from nuclear extracts of Drosophila Kc cells. cDNA for DREF was isolated with the reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction method using primers synthesized on the basis of partial amino acid sequences and following screening of cDNA libraries. Deduced from the nucleotide sequences of cDNA, DREF is a polypeptide of 701 amino acid residues with a molecular weight of 80,096, which contains three characteristic regions, rich in basic amino acids, proline, and acidic amino acids, respectively. Deletion analysis of bacterially expressed DREF fused with glutathione S-transferase (GST-DREF) indicated that a part of the N-terminal basic amino acid region (16-115 amino acids) is responsible for the specific binding to DRE. A polyclonal and four monoclonal antibodies were raised against the GST-DREF fusion protein. The antibodies inhibited specifically the transcription of DNA polymerase alpha promoter in vitro. Cotransfection experiments using Kc cells demonstrated that overproduction of DREF protein overcomes the repression of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen gene promoter by the zerkn├╝llt gene product. These results confirmed that DREF is a trans-activating factor for DNA replication-related genes. Immunocytochemical analysis demonstrated the presence of DREF polypeptide in nuclei after the eighth nuclear division cycle, suggesting that nuclear accumulation of DREF is important for the coordinate zygotic expression of DNA replication-related genes carrying DRE sequences.

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