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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Minimal transcriptional enhancer of simian virus 40 is a 74-base-pair sequence that has interacting domains.

We have assayed the ability of segments of the simian virus 40 (SV40) 72-base-pair (bp) repeat enhancer region to activate gene expression under the control of the SV40 early promoter and to compete for trans-acting enhancer-binding factors of limited availability in vivo in monkey CV-1 or human HeLa cells. The bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase and the herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase genes were used as reporters in these assays. A 94-bp sequence located between SV40 nucleotides 179 and 272, including one copy of the 72-bp repeat, has been termed the minimal enhancer in previous studies. In the present study, we found that the 20-bp origin-proximal region located between nucleotides 179 and 198 was dispensable, since its removal caused only a slight reduction in enhancer activity. However, the deletion of another 4 bp up to nucleotide 202 abolished the enhancer activity. We propose that the minimal enhancer is a 74-bp sequence located between nucleotides 199 and 272, including 52 bp of one copy of the 72-bp repeat and a 22-bp adjacent sequence up to the PvuII site at 272. The nonamer 5'-AAGT/CATGCA-3', which we term the K core, occurred as a tandem duplication around the SphI site at nucleotide 200, and we found that this duplication was essential for enhancement and factor-binding activities. A heterologous core element (which we term the C core), 5'-GTGGA/TA/TA/TG-3', identified earlier (G. Khoury and P. Gruss, Cell 33:313-314, 1983; Weiher et al., Science 219:626-631, 1983) also occurred in duplicate, with one of the copies located within the 22-bp sequence near nucleotide 272 present outside the 72-bp repeat. We provide direct evidence that this 22-bp sequence augments enhancer activity considerably. We also found that in addition to the heterologous interaction occurring normally between the K and C cores within the minimal enhancer, certain homologous interactions were also permitted provided there was proper spacing between the elements.[1]


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