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Eukaryot Cell. 2003 Oct;2(5):922-9.

Constitutive and hyperresponsive signaling by mutant forms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae amino acid sensor Ssy1.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Carlsberg Laboratory, DK-2500 Copenhagen Valby, Denmark.


Sensing of extracellular amino acids results in transcriptional induction of amino acid permease genes in yeast. Ssy1, a membrane protein resembling amino acid permeases, is required for signaling but is apparently unable to transport amino acids and is thus believed to be a sensor. By using a novel genetic screen in which potassium uptake was made dependent on amino acid signaling, we obtained gain-of-function mutations in SSY1. Some alleles confer inducer-independent signaling; others increase the apparent affinity for inducers. The results reveal that amino acid transport is not required for signaling and support the notion that sensing by Ssy1 occurs via its direct interaction with extracellular amino acids.

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