The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains three heat-inducible hsp70 genes. We have characterized the promoter region of the hsp70 heat shock gene YG100, that also displays a basal level of expression. Deletion of the distal region of the promoter resulted in an 80% drop in the basal level of expression without affecting expression after heat shock. Progressive-deletion analysis suggested that sequences necessary for heat-inducible expression are more proximal, within 233 base pairs of the initiation region. The promoter region of YG100 contains multiple elements related to the Drosophila melanogaster heat shock element (HSE; CnnGAAnnT TCnnG). Deletion of a proximal promoter region containing one element, HSE2, eliminated most of the heat-inducible expression of YG100. The upstream activation site (UAS) of the yeast cytochrome c gene (CYC1) can be substituted by a single copy of HSE2 plus its adjoining nucleotides (UASHS). This hybrid promoter displayed a substantial level of expression before heat shock, and the level of expression was elevated eightfold by heat shock. YG100 sequences that flank UASHS inhibited basal expression of UASHS in the hybrid promoter but not its heat-inducible expression. This inhibition of basal UASHS activity suggests that negative regulation is involved in modulating expression of this yeast heat shock gene.
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