The downstream core promoter element, DPE, is conserved from Drosophila to humans and is recognized by TAFII60 of Drosophila.


Journal Article

We analyzed the function of the downstream promoter element (DPE), a distinct 7-nucleotide core promoter element that is approximately 30 nucleotides downstream of the transcription start site of many TATA-box-deficient (TATA-less) promoters in Drosophila. There is a strict requirement for spacing between the Inr and DPE motifs, as an increase or decrease of 3 nucleotides in the distance between the Inr and DPE causes a seven- to eightfold reduction in transcription as well as a significant reduction in the binding of purified TFIID. These results suggest a specific and somewhat rigid interaction of TFIID with the Inr and DPE sequences. Photo-cross-linking analysis of purified TFIID with a TATA-less DPE-containing promoter revealed specific cross-linking of dTAFII60 and dTAFII40 to the DPE, with a higher efficiency of cross-linking to dTAFII60 than to dTAFII40. These data, combined with the previously well-characterized interactions between the two TAFs and their homology to histones H4 and H3, suggest that a dTAFII60-dTAFII40 heterotetramer binds to the DPE. Human and Drosophila transcription factors exhibit essentially the same requirements for DPE sequence and for Inr-DPE spacing. In addition, the TATA-less promoter of the human interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) gene contains a DPE that is important for transcriptional activity both in vitro and in cultured cells. Hence, these studies provide evidence for a direct role of TAFs in basal transcription of TATA-less DPE-containing genes and collectively indicate that the DPE is, in many respects, a downstream counterpart to the TATA box that is present in Drosophila to humans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Burke, TW; Kadonaga, JT

Published Date

  • November 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 22

Start / End Page

  • 3020 - 3031

PubMed ID

  • 9367984

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9367984

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1549-5477

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0890-9369

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/gad.11.22.3020


  • eng