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Dorsch-Häsler, Karoline; Keil, Günther M.; Weber, Frank; Jasin, Maria; Schaffner, Walter and Koszinowski, Ulrich H. (1985): A long and complex enhancer activates transcription of the gene coding for the highly abundant immediate early mRNA in murine cytomegalovirus. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 82: pp. 8325-8329 [PDF, 3MB]

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Using the simian virus 40 "enhancer trap" approach, we have identified a transcription enhancer located just upstream of the major immediate early gene of murine cytomegalovirus. This enhancer has several striking properties. (.) Together with the enhancer ofhuman cytomegalovirus, it is the strongest transcription enhancer found to date. (ö) It is an extremely long enhancer, spanning >700 base pairs. (ÜI) It consists of a rather complex pattern of sequence repeats, the longest of which is 181 base pairs. Also, several types of short sequence motifs are scattered throughout the enhancer in monomeric, heterodimeric, or homodimeric (palindromic) form. These motifs have been identified to be components of other enhancers and promoters, and they are presumably binding sites for specific nuclear factors. Our analysis suggests that enhancers are composed of a modular arrangement of short conserved sequence motifs and that enhancer strength is correlated with the redundancy of these motifs.

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