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Reference: Grundmann O, et al. (2001) Repression of GCN4 mRNA translation by nitrogen starvation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Biol Chem 276(28):25661-71

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Abstract


Saccharomyces cerevisiae activates a regulatory network called "general control" that provides the cell with sufficient amounts of protein precursors during amino acid starvation. We investigated how starvation for nitrogen affects the general control regulatory system, because amino acid biosynthesis is part of nitrogen metabolism. Amino acid limitation results in the synthesis of the central transcription factor Gcn4p, which binds to specific DNA-binding motif sequences called Gcn4-protein-responsive elements (GCREs) that are present in the promoter regions of its target genes. Nitrogen starvation increases GCN4 transcription but efficiently represses expression of both a synthetic GCRE6::lacZ reporter gene and the natural amino acid biosynthetic gene ARO4. Repression of Gcn4p-regulated transcription by nitrogen starvation is independent of the ammonium sensing systems that include Mep2p and Gpa2p or Ure2p and Gln3p but depends on the four upstream open reading frames in the GCN4 mRNA leader sequence. Efficient translation of GCN4 mRNA is completely blocked by nitrogen starvation, even when cells are simultaneously starved for amino acids and eukaryotic initiation factor-2 alpha is fully phosphorylated by Gcn2p. Our data suggest that nitrogen starvation regulates translation of GCN4 by a novel mechanism that involves the four upstream open reading frames but that still acts independently of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 alpha phosphorylation by Gcn2p.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Grundmann O, Mosch HU, Braus GH
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