How does the GAL4 transcription factor recognize the appropriate DNA binding sites in vivo?

Cell Mol Biol Res. 1993;39(4):355-60.


The GAL4 protein of yeast activates the transcription of several genes involved in galactose metabolism. This event requires that GAL4 bind to upstream activation sites with the consensus sequence 5'-CGGN5(T/A)N5CCG-3'. We review the general requirements that must be met for a protein such as GAL4 to find and remain bound to its target site in vivo. Evidence is presented that the GAL4 DNA-binding domain itself has insufficient intrinsic sequence selectivity to fulfill the task of targeting GAL4 to the appropriate sites in a yeast genome. Possible mechanisms by which this selectivity is enhanced in vivo are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors