The effect of copper on the expression of genes encoding the ligninolytic enzymes laccase (lcs) and manganese peroxidase (mnp) in Ceriporiopsis subvermispora was evaluated. This metal increased transcript levels of lcs, mnp1 and mnp2. This finding was not unexpected in the case of lcs, since its promoter contains a putative ACE element. Originally characterized in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ACE is the target sequence of the ACE1 copper-responsive transcription factor in this microorganism. Analysis of the promoter regions of mnp genes revealed the presence of formerly unnoticed ACE elements. Based on the ace1 gene from Phanerochaete chrysosporium, we isolated and characterized an ACE1-like transcription factor from C. subvermispora (Cs-ACE1) through complementation of a S. cerevisiae ace1Δ strain. Surprisingly, ACE1 factors from both basidiomycetes exhibit substantial differences, not only structurally but also in their ability to complement the aforementioned yeast strain. Specific binding of Cs-ACE1 to its cognate DNA sequence was confirmed by electrophoretic mobility-shift assays.
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