In vitro transcription and delimitation of promoter elements of the murine dihydrofolate reductase gene.

P. J. Farnham, R. T. Schimke

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28 Scopus citations


We have developed an in vitro transcription system for the murine dihydrofolate reductase gene. Although transcription in vitro from a linearized template was initiated at the same start sites as in vivo, the correct ratios were more closely approximated when a supercoiled template was used. In addition, whereas the dihydrofolate reductase promoter functions bidirectionally in vivo, the initiation signals directed unidirectional transcription in this in vitro system. The dihydrofolate reductase gene does not have a typical TATA box, but has four GGGCGG hexanucleotides within 300 base pairs 5' of the AUG codon. Deletion analysis suggested that, although sequences surrounding each of the GC boxes could specify initiation approximately 40 to 50 nucleotides downstream, three of the four GC boxes could be removed without changing the accuracy or efficiency of initiation at the major in vivo site. The dihydrofolate reductase promoter initiated transcription very rapidly in vitro, with transcripts visible by 1 min and almost maximal by 2 min at 30 degrees C with no preincubation. Nuclear extracts prepared from cells blocked in the S phase by aphidicolin or from adenovirus-infected cells at 16 h postinfection had enhanced dihydrofolate reductase transcriptional activity. This increased in vitro transcription mimicked the increase in dihydrofolate reductase mRNA seen in S-phase cells and suggested the presence of a cell-cycle-specific factor(s) which stimulated transcription from the dihydrofolate reductase gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2392-2401
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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