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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Mar;23(5):1750-63.

Far3 and five interacting proteins prevent premature recovery from pheromone arrest in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology and Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1229, USA.


In budding yeast, diffusible mating pheromones initiate a signaling pathway that culminates in several responses, including cell cycle arrest. Only a handful of genes required for the interface between pheromone response and the cell cycle have been identified, among them FAR1 and FAR3; of these, only FAR1 has been extensively characterized. In an effort to learn about the mechanism by which Far3 acts, we used the two-hybrid method to identify interacting proteins. We identified five previously uncharacterized open reading frames, dubbed FAR7, FAR8, FAR9, FAR10, and FAR11, that cause a far3-like pheromone arrest defect when disrupted. Using two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation analysis, we found that all six Far proteins interact with each other. Moreover, velocity sedimentation experiments suggest that Far3 and Far7 to Far11 form a complex. The phenotype of a sextuple far3far7-far11 mutant is no more severe than any single mutant. Thus, FAR3 and FAR7 to FAR11 all participate in the same pathway leading to G1 arrest. These mutants initially arrest in response to pheromone but resume budding after 10 h. Under these conditions, wild-type cells fail to resume budding even after several days whereas far1 mutant cells resume budding within 1 h. We conclude that the FAR3-dependent arrest pathway is functionally distinct from that which employs FAR1.

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