Descriptive and functional characterization of variation in the Fundulus heteroclitus Ldh-B proximal promoter

Jeff A. Segal, Patricia M. Schulte, Dennis A. Powers, Douglas L. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Variation in enzyme expression may be an important mechanism for physiological and evolutionary adaptation. The Ldh-B locus in the teleost fish Fundulus heteroclitus is one of a very few loci for which an evolutionary difference in transcription rate between populations has been demonstrated. To begin to understand the molecular modifications that are responsible for altering transcription, we have characterized the Ldh-B proximal promoter using a combination of sequence analysis, transient transfection, and in vivo footprinting. The Ldh-B gene has several transcription start sites and a TATA-less, Inr (initiator of transcription motif) containing promoter with multiple Sp1-like motifs. Transfection experiments reveal that Sp1 sites, TCC repeats, and Inrs are functional components of the proximal promoter. We find substantial sequence variation between populations within the proximal promoter (250 bp from the transcription start sites) and footprinting analysis indicates that some of this sequence variation is associated with differential protein binding to the apparent TFIID binding site and Sp1 sites. Together, these data suggest that variation in the Ldh-B proximal promoter may play a role in the observed difference in transcription rates between northern and southern populations of F. heteroclitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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