A series of CYC I constructions in which the upstream promoter portion has been replaced by a variety of HIS4 synthetic fragments has demonstrated that the 5’ TGACTC 3’ repeat is crucial for conferring amino acid general control. Efficient regulation, however, is obtained only with fragments containing both the repeat and flanking sequences. Analysis of the flanks shows the presence of a 16 nucleotide long sequence composed of alternations of two purines and two pyrimidines between the upstream and downstream repeats. Such a sequence has very large twist angle variations. Homologous sequences are observed in HIS1, HIS3, and in TRP5 upstream regions between copies of the repeat. Sequences which confer special structural characteristics may aid in protein recognition of the promoter region.