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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 2;276(9):6463-7. Epub 2000 Nov 28.

Regulation of APG14 expression by the GATA-type transcription factor Gln3p.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Gln3p is a nitrogen catabolite repression-sensitive GATA-type transcription factor. Its nuclear accumulation was recently shown to be under the control of TOR signaling. Gln3p normally resides in the cytoplasm. When cells are starved from nitrogen nutrients or treated with rapamycin, however, Gln3p becomes translocated into the nucleus, thereby activating the expression of genes involved in nitrogen utilization and transport. To identify other genes under the control of Gln3p, we searched for the Gln3p-binding GATAA motifs within 500 base pairs of the promoter sequences upstream of the yeast open reading frames in the Saccharomyces Genome Database. APG14, a gene essential for autophagy, was found to have the most GATAA motifs. We show that nitrogen starvation or rapamycin treatment rapidly causes a more than 20-fold induction of APG14. The expression of APG14 is dependent on Gln3p; deletion of Gln3p severely reduced its induction by rapamycin, whereas depletion of Ure2p caused its constitutive expression. However, overexpression of APG14 led to only a slight increase in autophagy in nitrogen-rich medium. Therefore, these results define a signaling cascade leading to the expression of APG14 in response to the availability of nitrogen nutrients and suggest that the regulated expression of APG14 contributes to but is not sufficient for the control of autophagy.

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