A protein involved in minichromosome maintenance in yeast binds a transcriptional enhancer conserved in eukaryotes

Genes Dev. 1989 Jul;3(7):921-35. doi: 10.1101/gad.3.7.921.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae MCM1 gene product is a protein with multiple functions. It is a transcription factor necessary for expression of mating-type-specific genes and is also required for the maintenance of minichromosomes. MCM1 shows DNA-binding specificities similar to those of two previously reported DNA-binding factors, pheromone/receptor transcription factor (PRTF) and general regulator of mating type (GRM); like PRTF, its activity can be modulated by the alpha 1 protein. MCM1 binds to the dyad symmetry element 5'-CCTAATTAGG and related sequences, which we refer to as MCM1 control elements (MCEs). MCEs are found within the regulatory regions of a- and alpha-specific genes. Direct and indirect DNA binding assays suggest that a conserved 5'-ATTAGG in one-half of the dyad symmetry element is important for MCM1 binding whereas variants in the other half are tolerated. We have used a novel DNase I 'nicking interference' assay to investigate the interaction of MCM1 with its substrate. These data suggest that MCM1 binds as a dimer, interacting symmetrically with the ATTAGG residues in each half of the binding site. MCM1 contains striking homology to the DNA-binding domain of the human serum response factor (SRF) which mediates the transient transcriptional activation of growth-stimulated genes by binding to the serum response element (SRE). We have shown that MCM1 binds to the human c-fos SRE in vitro and, like other MCEs, the c-fos SRE exhibits MCM1-mediated upstream activating sequence (UAS) activity in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding, Competitive
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Transcription Factors
  • Deoxyribonucleases