Transcriptional activation by the SV40 AP-1 recognition element in yeast is mediated by a factor similar to AP-1 that is distinct from GCN4

Cell. 1988 Apr 22;53(2):321-30. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90393-5.


The consensus recognition element for the mammalian transcription factor AP-1 is very similar to that of the transcriptional activator GCN4. Here, we show that the AP-1 recognition element (ARE) found in the SV40 enhancer can activate transcription from a heterologous promoter in S. cerevisiae. This activation, however, is not dependent on the presence of GCN4 as evidenced by ARE-dependent transcription in a gcn4 yeast strain. A previously unknown yeast transcription factor that is probably responsible for this activation was identified and highly purified. The yeast factor, designated yAP-1, shares remarkably similar biochemical and DNA-binding characteristics with mammalian AP-1. These data suggest that the yeast and mammalian AP-1 are evolutionarily conserved and perhaps functionally related. Also note-worthy is that GCN4 can bind to a GCN4 recognition element (GCRE) and to the ARE with approximately equal affinities; yAP-1, however, has a much lower affinity for the GCRE than the ARE, suggesting that yAP-1 can discriminate between these elements in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genes, Viral
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Kinases*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein Kinases