Multiple point mutations affecting the simian virus 40 enhancer

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Science  11 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4585, pp. 626-631
DOI: 10.1126/science.6297005


Enhancers, or activators, dramatically increase the transcriptional activity of certain eukaryotic genes. A series of multiple point mutations affecting the simian virus 40 (SV40) enhancer-activator region were generated in order to define the nucleotide sequence required for this function. Three independent assays provided information leading to the identification of nucleotides essential for enhancer function. One class leads to a decrease in gene expression, while the second completely abolishes functional activity. One critical replacement appears to be the first G (guanine) in a sequence TGGAAAG (T, thymine, A, adenine) located in the 5' region of the 72 base-pair repeat of SV40. Comparison of this sequence with nucleotide sequences in other known enhancers leads to the identification of potential related core elements.