Identification of a functional TATA element in the STA2 glucoamylase gene promoter from Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Accurate transcription by RNA polymerase II is usually dependent on the presence of a TATA element, and/or an initiator element, in the promoters of protein-encoding genes. The STA1-3 genes, encoding three glucoamylase isozymes (Sta1p, Sta2p and Sta3p, respectively) responsible for starch hydrolysis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been shown to contain long and complex promoters with several regulatory regions. These promoters are also virtually identical to the yeast MUC1 gene promoter; this gene encodes a mucin-like protein and is evolutionary linked to, and transcriptionally co-regulated with, STA1-3. The STA1-3 genes contain two putative TATA sequences, one conforming to the typical TATA box sequence, TATAAA, and another with the sequence of TATAAT. Here we present a study into the functional relevance of these putative TATA sequences and their effects on the transcription of the STA2 gene (as a representative model of the STA1-3 multigene family) and, by analogy, the MUC1 gene. We show that the TATAAA motif is the functional TATA box for STA2 and influences transcript levels, transcript initiation sites, and glucoamylase activities.