E2F site activates transcription in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and binds to a 30-kDa transcription factor

Pawan Malhotra, Chitra F. Manohar, Sathyamangalam Swaminathan, Reiko Toyama, Ravi Dhar, Ronald Reichel, Bayar Thimmapaya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The mammalian transcription factor E2F binds to several cellular proteins including Rb, p107, cyclin A, cyclin E, and p33cdk2 protein kinase in a stage-specific manner during cell cycle. Its recognition sequence, TTTCGCGC, is present in two of the human adenovirus early promoters and in several promoters of cellular genes whose products are implicated in the control of cell proliferation. These observations suggest that E2F may play an important role in cell-cycle regulation and prompted us to ask whether E2F-like activities are present in yeast. We found that the E2F motif can function as an activating sequence in Schizosaccharomyces pombe when cloned upstream of a reporter gene. Consistent with this, the expression of adenovirus E2 promoter in S. pombe was dependent on both E2F motifs of this promoter. A protein, spE2F, that binds to the E2F site was partially purified from S. pombe using DNA-affinity chromatography. The binding specificity of this protein was compared to that of human E2F using a number of mutant E2F sites as competitors. These studies showed that spE2F recognizes a sequence closely related to the E2F site. Ultraviolet cross-linking and Southwestern blot studies indicated that the molecular size of spE2F is 30 kDa. Previous studies have shown that a cis-acting element, ACGCGTNA, also called MluI cell cycle box, or MCB, is critical for the regulated expression of cell cycle related genes both in fission and budding yeast. In S. pombe, the cdc 10 gene product binds to this element and controls the cell cycle related genes. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and molecular size determination studies indicated that spE2F is different from that encoded by cdc 10. Thus, our studies suggest that spE2F is a novel transcription factor. We discuss these results in light of recent observations about the periodically expressed genes involved in the cell cycle progression in yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20392-20401
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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