Zeste-mediated activation by an enhancer is independent of cooperative DNA binding in vivo

Jeffrey D. Laney, Mark D. Biggin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


It is not clear how transcription factors bound at distal enhancer and proximal promoter sequences cooperate to stimulate transcription in vivo. To distinguish between different models for the action of enhancer elements, we have directly measured DNA binding of the Drosophila activator zeste by in vivo UV crosslinking. Experiments in Drosophila embryos show that binding of zeste protein to either the proximal promoter of the Ultrabithorax (Ubx) gene or to a Ubx enhancer element does not require the presence of the other element. However, significant transcription is observed only when both elements are present and bound by zeste. The results indicate that stimulation by an enhancer can occur by a mechanism other than increasing the occupancy of an activator to binding sites near the start site of transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3602-3604
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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