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Determination of the nucleotide sequence of a DNA region from Saccharomyces cerevisiae previously shown to contain the LEU3 gene revealed one long open reading frame (ORF) whose 887 codons predict the existence of a protein with a molecular mass of 100,162 daltons. The codon bias index of 0.02 suggests that LEU3 encodes a low-abundance protein. The predicted amino acid sequence contains a stretch of 31 residues near the N-terminus that is rich in cysteines and basic amino acids and shows strong homology to similar regions in five other regulatory proteins of lower eukaryotes. Additional regions with a predominance of basic amino acids are present adjacent to the cysteine-rich region. A stretch of 20 residues, 19 of which are glu or asp, is found in the carboxy terminal quarter of the protein. The 5' flanking region of LEU3 contains a TATA box 111 bp upstream from the beginning of the long ORF and two transcription initiation elements (5'TCAA3') 58 and 48 bp upstream from the ORF. The 3' flanking region shows a tripartite potential termination-polyadenylation signal. The predicted 5' and 3' ends of the transcript are in very good agreement with the previously determined size of the LEU3 message. Analysis of a LEU3'-'lacZ translational fusion suggests that the LEU3 gene, whose product is involved in the specific regulation of the leucine and possibly the isoleucine-valine pathways, is itself under general amino acid control. Consistent with this observation is the finding that the 5' flanking region of LEU3 contains two perfect copies of the general control target sequence 5'TGACTC3'.