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Expression of heterologous genes from the PGK promoter on high copy number plasmids in yeast is relatively poor compared to the intact PGK gene because of low steady-state RNA levels. In this paper we show that low levels of heterologous RNA are not due to instability of mRNA but result from inefficient transcription due to a defect in RNA synthesis. A comparison of RNA levels from homologous and heterologous transcription units allowed the identification of a positive activator for transcription within the PGK coding region which is required for efficient expression of the PGK gene. Deletion of this region, the "downstream activator sequence", causes a six to ten fold reduction in transcriptional efficiency from the PGK 5' noncoding region.

Original publication




Journal article


Nucleic Acids Res

Publication Date





6243 - 6259


Base Sequence, Chromosome Mapping, Genes, Fungal, Interferons, Phosphoglycerate Kinase, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA, Messenger, Transcription, Genetic, Yeasts