Cell cycle-dependent gene expression is often controlled on the transcriptional level. Genes like cyclin B, CDC2 and CDC25C are regulated by cell cycle-dependent element (CDE) and cell cycle genes homology region (CHR) promoter elements mainly through repression in G0/G1. It had been suggested that E2F4 binding to CDE sites is central to transcriptional regulation. However, some promoters are only controlled by a CHR. We identify the DREAM complex binding to the CHR of mouse and human cyclin B2 promoters in G0. Association of DREAM and cell cycle-dependent regulation is abrogated when the CHR is mutated. Although E2f4 is part of the complex, a CDE is not essential but can enhance binding of DREAM. We show that the CHR element is not only necessary for repression of gene transcription in G 0/G 1, but also for activation in S, G2 and M phases. In proliferating cells, the B-myb-containing MMB complex binds the CHR of both promoters independently of the CDE. Bioinformatic analyses identify many genes which contain conserved CHR elements in promoters binding the DREAM complex. With Ube2c as an example from that screen, we show that inverse CHR sites are functional promoter elements that can bind DREAM and MMB. Our findings indicate that the CHR is central to DREAM/MMB-dependent transcriptional control during the cell cycle.
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