Project description:Synthetic promoters are commonly used tools for circuit design or high level protein production. Promoter engineering efforts in yeasts, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris have mostly been focused on altering upstream regulatory sequences such as transcription factor binding sites. In higher eukaryotes synthetic core promoters, directly needed for transcription initiation by RNA Polymerase II, have been successfully designed. Here we report the first synthetic yeast core promoter for P. pastoris, based on natural yeast core promoters. Furthermore we used this synthetic core promoter sequence to engineer the core promoter of the natural AOX1 promoter, thereby creating a set of core promoters providing a range of different expression levels. As opposed to engineering strategies of the significantly longer entire promoter, such short core promoters can directly be added on a PCR primer facilitating library generation and are sufficient to obtain variable expression yields.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Synthetic biology requires toolbox of promoters to finely tune gene expression levels for building up efficient cell factories. Yeast promoters owned variable core promoter regions between the TATA-box and transcriptional starting site (TSS) at the length mostly around 20-80 bases. This region allowed flexible design of artificial promoter but potentially demand special base motifs to maintain or enhance the promoter's strength. RESULTS:Here, we designed and screened the base motifs and tested the activities of yeast artificial core promoters. Different 30 bases of artificial sequences led to variable expression levels of CrtY enzyme which determined the lycopene-carotene compositions, represented in the colony-color spectrum of red-orange-yellow. The upstream sequences of two strong promoter PEXP1 and PGPD and two starting strains with distinguishable lycopene production levels were utilized to characterize the promoter sequences. Different partition designs of T-rich or G/C-rich base motifs led to distinguishable colony-color distributions. Finally, we screened a champion promoter with a highest 5.5-fold enhancement of lycopene-carotene transformation. Another selected promoter generated a highest beta-carotene production as 7.4 mg/g DCW. CONCLUSIONS:This work offered an approach to redesign promoter with artificial sequences. We concluded that the core promoter region could be designated as 30 bases and different base motifs would enhance or weaken the promoter's strength. Generally, more T-rich elements, higher %T and lower G/C percentage were beneficial to enhance the strength of artificial core promoter.
Project description:As an important part of synthetic biology, synthetic promoter has gradually become a hotspot in current biology. The purposes of the present study were to synthesize green tissue-specific promoters and to discover green tissue-specific cis-elements. We first assembled several regulatory sequences related to tissue-specific expression in different combinations, aiming to obtain novel green tissue-specific synthetic promoters. GUS assays of the transgenic plants indicated 5 synthetic promoters showed green tissue-specific expression patterns and different expression efficiencies in various tissues. Subsequently, we scanned and counted the cis-elements in different tissue-specific promoters based on the plant cis-elements database PLACE and the rice cDNA microarray database CREP for green tissue-specific cis-element discovery, resulting in 10 potential cis-elements. The flanking sequence of one potential core element (GEAT) was predicted by bioinformatics. Then, the combination of GEAT and its flanking sequence was functionally identified with synthetic promoter. GUS assays of the transgenic plants proved its green tissue-specificity. Furthermore, the function of GEAT flanking sequence was analyzed in detail with site-directed mutagenesis. Our study provides an example for the synthesis of rice tissue-specific promoters and develops a feasible method for screening and functional identification of tissue-specific cis-elements with their flanking sequences at the genome-wide level in rice.
Project description:Circadian rhythms in transcription are generated by rhythmic abundances and DNA binding activities of transcription factors. Propagation of rhythms to transcriptional initiation involves the core promoter, its chromatin state, and the basal transcription machinery. Here, I characterize core promoters and chromatin states of genes transcribed in a circadian manner in mouse liver and in Drosophila. It is shown that the core promoter is a critical determinant of circadian mRNA expression in both species. A distinct core promoter class, strong circadian promoters (SCPs), is identified in mouse liver but not Drosophila. SCPs are defined by specific core promoter features, and are shown to drive circadian transcriptional activities with both high averages and high amplitudes. Data analysis and mathematical modeling further provided evidence for rhythmic regulation of both polymerase II recruitment and pause release at SCPs. The analysis provides a comprehensive and systematic view of core promoters and their link to circadian mRNA expression in mouse and Drosophila, and thus reveals a crucial role for the core promoter in regulated, dynamic transcription.
Project description:Core promoter controls the initiation of transcription. Core promoter sequence change can disrupt transcriptional regulation, lead to impairment of gene expression and ultimately diseases. Therefore, comprehensive characterization of core promoters is essential to understand normal and abnormal gene expression in biomedical studies. Here we report the development of EVDC (Exome-based Variant Detection in Core promoters) method for genome-scale analysis of core-promoter sequence variation. This method is based on the fact that exome sequences contain the sequences not only from coding exons but also from non-coding region including core promoters generated by random fragmentation in exome sequencing process. Using exome data from three cell types of CD4+ T cells, CD19+ B cells and neutrophils of a single individual, we characterized the features of core promoter-mapped exome sequences, and analysed core-promoter variation in this individual genome. We also compared the core promoters between YRI (Yoruba in Ibadan, Nigeria) and the CEU (Utah residents of European decedent) populations using the exome data generated by the 1000 Genome project, and observed much higher variation in YRI population than in CEU population. Our study demonstrates that the EVDC method provides a simple but powerful means for genome-wile de novo characterization of core promoter sequence variation.
Project description:Mitochondrial genes in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana are transcribed by two phage-type RNA polymerases encoded in the nucleus. Little is known about cis-elements that are recognized by these enzymes and mediate the transcription of the Arabidopsis mitochondrial genome. Here, 30 transcription initiation sites of 12 mitochondrial genes and gene clusters have been determined using 5'-RACE and ribonuclease protection analysis of primary transcripts labelled in vitro by guanylyltransferase. A total of 9 out of 12 genes were found to possess multiple promoters, revealing for the first time that multiple promoters are a common feature of mitochondrial genes in a dicotyledonous plant. No differences in promoter utilization were observed between leaves and flowers, suggesting that promoter multiplicity reflects a relaxed promoter specificity rather than a regulatory role of promoter selection. Nearly half the identified transcription initiation sites displayed immediately upstream a CRTA core sequence, which was mostly seen within the previously described CRTAAGAGA promoter motif or a novel CGTATATAA promoter element. About as many promoters possessed an ATTA or RGTA core. Our data indicate that the majority of mitochondrial promoters in Arabidopsis deviate significantly from the nonanucleotide consensus derived earlier for dicot mitochondrial promoters.
Project description:The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) core promoter is the strategic site of convergence of the signals that lead to the initiation of DNA transcription<sup>1-5</sup>, but the downstream core promoter in humans has been difficult to understand<sup>1-3</sup>. Here we analyse the human Pol II core promoter and use machine learning to generate predictive models for the downstream core promoter region (DPR) and the TATA box. We developed a method termed HARPE (high-throughput analysis of randomized promoter elements) to create hundreds of thousands of DPR (or TATA box) variants, each with known transcriptional strength. We then analysed the HARPE data by support vector regression (SVR) to provide comprehensive models for the sequence motifs, and found that the SVR-based approach is more effective than a consensus-based method for predicting transcriptional activity. These results show that the DPR is a functionally important core promoter element that is widely used in human promoters. Notably, there appears to be a duality between the DPR and the TATA box, as many promoters contain one or the other element. More broadly, these findings show that functional DNA motifs can be identified by machine learning analysis of a comprehensive set of sequence variants.
Project description:Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering experiments frequently require the fine-tuning of gene expression to balance and optimize protein levels of regulators or metabolic enzymes. A key concept of synthetic biology is the development of modular parts that can be used in different contexts. Here, we have applied a computational multifactor design approach to generate de novo synthetic core promoters and 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) for yeast cells. In contrast to upstream cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), core promoters are typically not subject to specific regulation, making them ideal engineering targets for gene expression fine-tuning. 112 synthetic core promoter sequences were designed on the basis of the sequence/function relationship of natural core promoters, nucleosome occupancy and the presence of short motifs. The synthetic core promoters were fused to the Pichia pastoris AOX1 CRM, and the resulting activity spanned more than a 200-fold range (0.3% to 70.6% of the wild type AOX1 level). The top-ten synthetic core promoters with highest activity were fused to six additional CRMs (three in P. pastoris and three in Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Inducible CRM constructs showed significantly higher activity than constitutive CRMs, reaching up to 176% of natural core promoters. Comparing the activity of the same synthetic core promoters fused to different CRMs revealed high correlations only for CRMs within the same organism. These data suggest that modularity is maintained to some extent but only within the same organism. Due to the conserved role of eukaryotic core promoters, this rational design concept may be transferred to other organisms as a generic engineering tool.
Project description:The core promoter is the regulatory sequence to which RNA polymerase is recruited and where it acts to initiate transcription. Here, we present the first comprehensive study of yeast core promoters, providing massively parallel measurements of core promoter activity and of TSS locations and relative usage for thousands of native and designed sequences. We found core promoter activity to be highly correlated to the activity of the entire promoter and that sequence variation in different core promoter regions substantially tunes its activity in a predictable way. We also show that location, orientation, and flanking bases critically affect TATA element function, that transcription initiation in highly active core promoters is focused within a narrow region, that poly(dA:dT) orientation has a functional consequence at the 3' end of promoters, and that orthologous core promoters across yeast species have conserved activities. Our results demonstrate the importance of core promoters in the quantitative study of gene regulation.
Project description:Synthetic promoters are considered ideal candidates in driving robust gene expression. Most of the available synthetic promoters are minimal promoters, for which the upstream sequence of the 5' end of the core region is usually excluded. Although the upstream sequence has been shown to mediate transcription of natural promoters, its impact on synthetic promoters has not been widely studied. Here, a library of chromosomal DNA fragments is randomly fused with the 5' end of the J23119 synthetic promoter, and the transcriptional performance of the promoter is evaluated through ?-galactosidase assay, fluorescence intensity and chemical biosynthesis. Results show that changes in the upstream sequence can induce significant variation in the promoter strength of up to 5.8-fold. The effect is independent of the length of the insertions and the number of potential transcription factor binding sites. Several DNA fragments that are able to enhance the transcription of both the natural and the synthetic promoters are identified. This study indicates that the synthetic minimal promoters are susceptible to the surrounding sequence context. Therefore, the upstream sequence should be treated as an indispensable component in the design and application of synthetic promoters, or as an independent genetic part for the fine-tuning of gene expression.