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Genetics. 2000 Apr;154(4):1561-76.

A yeast taf17 mutant requires the Swi6 transcriptional activator for viability and shows defects in cell cycle-regulated transcription.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M55 1A8, Canada.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Swi6 protein is a component of two transcription factors, SBF and MBF, that promote expression of a large group of genes in the late G1 phase of the cell cycle. Although SBF is required for cell viability, SWI6 is not an essential gene. We performed a synthetic lethal screen to identify genes required for viability in the absence of SWI6 and identified 10 complementation groups of swi6-dependent lethal mutants, designated SLM1 through SLM10. We were most interested in mutants showing a cell cycle arrest phenotype; both slm7-1 swi6Delta and slm8-1 swi6Delta double mutants accumulated as large, unbudded cells with increased 1N DNA content and showed a temperature-sensitive growth arrest in the presence of Swi6. Analysis of the transcript levels of cell cycle-regulated genes in slm7-1 SWI6 mutant strains at the permissive temperature revealed defects in regulation of a subset of cyclin-encoding genes. Complementation and allelism tests showed that SLM7 is allelic with the TAF17 gene, which encodes a histone-like component of the general transcription factor TFIID and the SAGA histone acetyltransferase complex. Sequencing showed that the slm7-1 allele of TAF17 is predicted to encode a version of Taf17 that is truncated within a highly conserved region. The cell cycle and transcriptional defects caused by taf17(slm7-1) are consistent with the role of TAF(II)s as modulators of transcriptional activation and may reflect a role for TAF17 in regulating activation by SBF and MBF.

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