We have characterized the promoter region of the D9-desaturase gene from two different strains of the dimorphic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Desaturase transcription is regulated in the two phases of growth: it is transcribed in the yeast phase at 37°C, while it is inactive in the mycelial phase at 25°C. Phase transition can be induced by shifting the temperature from 25 to 37°C or by adding cAMP to the growth medium. We have identified a stress-responsive cis element (STRE) responsive to cyclic AMP (cAMP)- signaling pathway and demonstrated that this element acts in H. capsulatum. We have also identified an element, hereafter called DRE (Desaturase Regulatory Element), present in the promoters of the H. capsulatum and S. cerevisiae D9-desaturase gene. We show that this element is necessary but not sufficient to regulate transcription of the H. capsulatum D9- desaturase gene.
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