M-specific activator (MSA) cis-acting elements have been determined to be involved in the regulation of G2/M-phase-specific transcription in spermatophytes. In this study, the involvement of MSA-core elements in G2/M-phase-specific transcription was examined in the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. In the C. merolae genome, MSA-core elements do not accumulate specifically in the upstream of mitosis-specific transcriptional genes. Mutations of the four MSA-core elements of the cyclin B gene, which encodes a central factor of the G2-to-M-phase transition, have resulted in the abolishment of transcription or permission of transcription even in the G1 phase. These results suggest that all four MSA-core elements located in the upstream region of cyclin B are involved in G2/M-phase-specific transcription in C. merolae; however, the nature of the involvement of MSA-core elements in G2/M-phase-specific transcription differed among the four elements. Thus, MSA-core-element-mediated G2/M-phase-specific transcription in C. merolae seems to be regulated by a complex mechanism.
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