The yeast repressor Rme1p acts from distant binding sites to block transcription of the chromosomal IME1 gene. Rme1p can also repress the heterologous CYC1 promoter when Rme1p binding sites are placed 250–300 bp upstream of CYC1 transcriptional activator binding sites (UAS1 and UAS2). Here, in vivo footprinting studies indicate that Rme1p acts over this distance by preventing the binding of the CYC1 transcriptional activators to UAS1 and UAS2. Inhibition of activator binding by Rme1p has the same genetic requirements as repression: both depend upon sequences flanking the Rme1p binding sites and upon Rgr1p and Sin4p, two subunits of the RNA polymerase II-associated Mediator complex that are required for normal nucleosome density. Thus Rme1p may alter chromatin to prevent binding of transcriptional activators to distant DNA sequences
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