[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The niiA (nitrite reductase) and niaD (nitrate reductase) genes of Aspergillus nidulans are subject to both induction by nitrate and repression by ammonium or glutamine. The intergenic region between these genes functions as a bidirectional promoter. In this region, nucleosomes are positioned under nonexpression conditions. On nitrate induction under derepressing conditions, total loss of positioning occurs. This is independent of transcription and of the NirA-specific transcription factor but absolutely dependent on the wide-domain GATA-binding AreA factor. We show here that a 3-amino-acid deletion in the basic carboxy-terminal sequence of the DNA-binding domain results in a protein with paradoxical properties. Its weak DNA binding is consistent with its loss-of-function phenotype on most nitrogen sources. However, it results in constitutive expression and superinducibility of niiA and niaD. Nucleosome loss of positioning is also constitutive. The mutation partially suppresses null mutations in the transcription factor NirA. AreA binds NirA in vitro, and the mutation does not affect this interaction. The in vivo methylation pattern of the promoter is drastically altered, suggesting the recruitment of one or more unknown transcription factors and/or a local distortion on the DNA double helix.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We show that Neurospora crassa has a single histone H1 gene, hH1, which encodes a typical linker histone with highly basic N- and C-terminal tails and a central globular domain. A green fluorescent protein-tagged histone H1 chimeric protein was localized exclusively to nuclei. Mutation of hH1 by repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) did not result in detectable defects in morphology, DNA methylation, mutagen sensitivity, DNA repair, fertility, RIP, chromosome pairing, or chromosome segregation. Nevertheless, hH1 mutants had mycelial elongation rates that were lower than normal on all tested carbon sources. This slow linear growth phenotype, however, was less evident on medium containing ethanol. The pyruvate decarboxylase gene, cfp, was abnormally derepressed in hH1 mutants on ethanol-containing medium. This derepression was also found when an ectopically integrated fusion of the cfp gene promoter to the reporter gene hph was analyzed. Thus, Neurospora histone H1 is required for the proper regulation of cfp, a gene with a key role in the respiratory-fermentative pathway.