Sequences of the CyIIIa actin gene regulatory domain bound specifically by sea urchin embryo nuclear proteins

Mol Reprod Dev. 1990 Feb;25(2):110-22. doi: 10.1002/mrd.1080250203.


Expression of the CyIIIa cytoskeletal actin gene is a marker of differential gene activation in the aboral ectoderm of the early sea urchin embryo. Gene transfer experiments have defined a 2,300 nucleotide cis-regulatory domain required for the correct spatial and temporal control of this gene. This domain includes at least 20 sites at which relatively stable DNA--protein complexes form in vitro on reaction with embryo nuclear extracts. We report the nucleotide sequence of the whole regulatory domain and map the sites at which high-specificity DNA--protein interactions occur. These were located initially by gel shift assays carried out on progressive restriction digests of given subfragments of the large regulatory domain and were located more exactly by oligonucleotide gel shift competitions. Eight of the sites of specific interaction are unique within the CyIIIa regulatory domain, and the remainder consist of five different sites that occur more than once. We observe some well known sequences also found in regulatory regions of other genes, e.g., "CCAAT" and "octamer" elements. The various sites have been classified regarding putative biological function in other work, and the present studies permit an assessment of the number and complexity of interactions constituting each functional class and of the relative locations of sites of each class.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Sea Urchins / embryology
  • Sea Urchins / genetics*


  • Actins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M64573