The distal elements, OCT and SPH, stimulate the formation of preinitiation complexes on a human U6 snRNA gene promoter in vitro. Academic Article uri icon


  • The distal control region of a human U6 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) gene promoter contains two separable elements, octamer (OCT) and SPH, found in many vertebrate snRNA genes. Complete distal regions generally account for a 4- to 100-fold stimulation of snRNA gene promoters. We examined the mechanism of transcriptional stimulation by each element when linked to the proximal U6 promoter. Multimers of either OCT or SPH did not increase transcriptional levels above that with a single copy, either in transfected human cells or after in vitro transcription in a HeLa S100 extract. The orientation of a single SPH element differentially stimulated transcription in transfected cells, whereas the orientation of an octamer element was not important. Using Sarkosyl to limit transcription to a single-round, we concluded that promoters containing either OCT or SPH elements supported an increased number of preinitiation complexes in vitro. Furthermore, the rate of formation of U6 promoter preinitiation complexes resistant to low (0.015%) concentrations of Sarkosyl was accelerated on templates containing either OCT or SPH. However, neither element had a significant effect on the number of rounds of reinitiation in the S100 extract.

published proceedings

  • Nucleic Acids Res

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Kunkel, G. R., & Hixson, J. D

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Kunkel, GR||Hixson, JD

publication date

  • March 1998