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Mol Cell Biol. Oct 1987; 7(10): 3713–3722.
PMCID: PMC368027

The yeast ARD1 gene product is required for repression of cryptic mating-type information at the HML locus.

Abstract

Mutations in the ARD1 gene prevent yeast cells from displaying G1-specific growth arrest in response to nitrogen deprivation and cause MATa haploids (but not MAT alpha haploids) to be mating defective. Analysis of cell type-specific gene expression by examination of RNA transcripts and measurement of beta-galactosidase activity from yeast gene-lacZ fusions demonstrated that the mating defect of MATa ard1 mutants was due to an inability to express genes required by MATa cells for the mating process. The lack of mating-specific gene expression in MATa cells was found to be due solely to derepression of the normally silent alpha information at the HML locus. The cryptic a information at the HMR locus was only very slightly derepressed in ard1 mutants, to a level insufficient to affect the mating efficiency of MAT alpha cells. The preferential elevation of expression from HML over HMR was also observed in ard1 mutants which contained the alternate arrangement of a information at HML and alpha information at HMR. Hence, the effect of the ard1 mutation was position specific (rather than information specific). Although the phenotype of ard1 mutants resembled that of cells with mutations in the SIR1 gene, both genetic and biochemical findings indicated that ARD1 control of HML expression was independent of the regulation imposed by SIR1 and the other SIR genes. These results suggest that the ARD1 gene encodes a protein product that acts, directly or indirectly, at the HML locus to repress its expression and, by analogy, may control expression of other genes involved in monitoring nutritional conditions.

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Selected References

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