Infoscience

Journal article

Transcription of a cloned Xenopus laevis H4 histone gene in the homologous frog oocyte system depends on an evolutionary conserved sequence motif in the -50 region

A cloned Xenopus laevis H4 histone gene has been expressed in the X.laevis oocyte nucleus. The homologous histone H4 gene can be correctly and efficiently expressed in the frog oocyte even in presence of bacterial vector DNA. As revealed by both analytical gel electrophoresis and S1 mapping, two H4 mRNAs are specified with different transcriptional efficiencies from the tandemly repeated promoter. Results from deletion mapping of the sequences essential for promoting H4 transcription show that drastic reduction of transcription is obtained when the sequences lying between -64 and -35 bp from the mRNA cap site are removed. We demonstrate by DNA sequence comparison using a novel computer program that this important area of the H4 promoter contains two highly conserved DNA motifs near positions -51 to -46 upstream from the cap site in all H4 gene promoters analysed.

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