Functional characterization of elements in a human U6 small nuclear RNA gene distal control region. Academic Article uri icon


  • The promoters of vertebrate U6 small nuclear RNA genes contain a distal control region whose presence results in at least an eightfold level of transcriptional activation in vivo. Previous transfection experiments have demonstrated that most of the distal control region of a human U6 gene resides in a restriction fragment located from -244 to -149 relative to the transcriptional start site. Three octamer-related motifs that bind recombinant Oct-1 transcription factor in vitro exist in this segment of DNA. However, transfection of human 293 cells with various plasmid templates in which these Oct-1 binding sites had been disrupted individually or in combination showed that only the consensus octamer motif located between positions -221 to -214 was functional. Even so, the consensus octamer motif mutant template was expressed at only a moderately reduced level relative to the wild-type promoter. When another octamer-related sequence located nearby, one that did not bind Oct-1 in vitro, was disrupted along with the perfect octamer site, expression was reduced fivefold in transfected cells. A factor that binds this functional, nonconsensus octamer site (NONOCT) was detected in crude cellular extracts. However, the NONOCT sequence was not essential for activation, since its disruption caused only a 40% reduction in U6 gene expression, and mutagenesis to convert the NONOCT sequence to a consensus octamer motif restored wild-type expression. Furthermore, in vitro transcription of a human U6 proximal promoter joined to a single copy of the octamer motif was stimulated by the addition of recombinant Oct-1 protein.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cell Biol

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Danzeiser, D. A., Urso, O., & Kunkel, G. R.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • August 1993