Characterization of the promoter of the nitrate transporter-encoding gene nrtA in Aspergillus nidulans

Yangyi Liu, Haoxiang Li, Jingyi Li, Yao Zhou, Zhemin Zhou, Ping Wang, Shengmin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aspergillus nidulans nrtA encodes a nitrate transporter that plays an important role in the NO3- assimilatory process. Many studies have focused on protein functions rather than gene regulation. The knowledge of nrtANO3- uptake process, particularly in the regulation mechanism of transcription factors AreA and NirA on nrtA transcription, is very limited. Herein, we investigated the transcriptional regulation of nrtA in response to various N-sources in detail and characterized the promoter activity of nrtA. We confirmed that nrtA was induced by NO3- and repressed by preferred N-sources. Additionally, for the first time, we found that the transcription of nrtA increased under N-starvation conditions. AreA mediates nrtA transcription under both NO3- and N-starvation conditions, while NirA is effective only under NO3- conditions. All of the proposed AreA and NirA binding sites in the promoter region were capable of binding to their corresponding transcription factors in vitro. In vivo, all of the NirA binding sites showed regulation activities, but to AreA, only several of the initiation-codon-proximal binding sites participated in nrtA transcription. Moreover, the active binding sites contributed in different degrees of regulation strength to nrtA transcription, which is unrelated to the distance between the binding sites and initiation codon. These results provided an extensive map of nrtA promoter, defining the functional regulatory elements of A. nidulans nrtA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1279
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by National Major Science and Technology Projects of China (2019ZX09739-001), National Natural Science Foundation of China (21672065 and 21636003), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (22221818014), the 111 Project (B18022), the Project Funded by the International S&T Innovation Cooperation Key Project (2017YFE0129600).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Nitrate transporter NrtA
  • Promoter
  • Transcription regulation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the promoter of the nitrate transporter-encoding gene nrtA in Aspergillus nidulans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this