Transcriptional termination of the GAL10 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae depends on the efficiency of polyadenylation. Either cis mutations in the poly(A) signal or trans mutations of mRNA 3' end cleavage factors result in GAL10 read-through transcripts into the adjacent GAL7 gene and inactivation (occlusion) of the GAL7 promoter. Herein, we present a molecular explanation of this transcriptional interference phenomenon. In vivo footprinting data reveal that GAL7 promoter occlusion is associated with the displacement of Gal4p transcription factors from the promoter. Interestingly, overexpression of Gal4p restores promoter occupancy, activates GAL7 expression, and rescues growth on the otherwise toxic galactose substrate. Our data therefore demonstrate a precise balance between transcriptional interference and initiation.
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