In order to improve a virus-independent gene expression system in insect cells, the effect of the repetition of the promoter sequence of a baculovirus immediate early gene, BmNPV ie1, on the gene expression activity was examined. Tandem repetition of ie1 promoter resulted in about a 4-fold increase of the reporter gene expression activity. Primer extension analysis revealed that the repetition increased not only the amount of transcripts (4 to 5-times) but also the number of sites of transcription initiation (at least 3 extra initiation sites). A mutational experiment demonstrated the involvement of independent cis-acting elements in these two different promoter-enhancing effects.
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