The rRNA Enhancer Regulates rRNA Transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Bernice E. Morrow, Stewart P. Johnson, Jonathan R. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the rRNA genes are organized as a tandem array of head-to-tail repeats. An enhancer of rRNA transcription is present just at the end of each transcription unit, 2 kb away from the next one. This enhancer is unusual for S. cerevisiae in that it acts both upstream and downstream of, and even across, genes. The role of the enhancer in the nutritional regulation of rRNA transcription was studied by introducing a centromere plasmid carrying two rRNA minigenes in tandem, flanking a single enhancer, into cells. Analysis of the transcripts from the two minigenes showed that the enhancer was absolutely required for the stimulation of transcription of rRNA that occurs when cells are shifted from a poor carbon source to a good carbon source. While full enhancer function is provided by a 45-bp region at the 3′ end of the 190-bp enhancer, some activity was also conferred by other elements, including both a T-rich stretch and a region containing the binding sites for the proteins Reb1p and Abf1p. We conclude that the enhancer is composed of redundant elements and that it is a major element in the regulation of rRNA transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1289
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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