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Genetics. 1986 Jun;113(2):229-46.

Genetic and molecular analysis of the GAL3 gene in the expression of the galactose/melibiose regulon of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


During the galactose adaptation period of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain bearing a naturally occurring gal3 allele, we found a longer induction lag and slower rate of accumulation of GAL10 and MEL1 RNAs compared to wild-type strains. A strain of genotype gal3 gal1 gal7 is noninducible for MEL1 gene expression, but this expression block is bypassed by overexpression of the GAL4 gene or by deletion of the GAL80 gene, either of which causes a constitutive phenotype. An otherwise wild-type strain that bears a chromosomal gal3 gene disruption mutation does not produce wild-type GAL3 RNA and exhibits induction comparable to a strain bearing the naturally occurring gal3. Based on this array of results, we conclude that the GAL3 gene product executes its function at a point before GAL4 mediated transcription of the GAL1-10-7 and MEL1 genes. Thus, the data are consistent with the previously advanced hypothesis that the GAL3 gene product functions to synthesize the inducer or coinducer molecule. In experiments in which the presence of either the plasmid-carried cloned GAL3 gene or the plasmid-carried cloned GAL1-10-7 genes allows MEL1 induction of a gal3 gal1 gal7 cell, we find that loss of the plasmid results in the shutoff of MEL1 expression even when galactose is continuously present. Either GAL3 function or GAL1-10-7 functions are therefore required for both the initiation and the maintenance of the induced state. Since the strains bearing either the naturally occurring gal3 allele or the gal3 disruption (null) allele do induce, the plasmid loss experiments indicate the existence of two completely independent induction initiation-maintenance pathways, one requiring GAL3 function, the other requiring GAL1-10-7 function. Finally, Northern blot analysis reveals two major GAL3 transcripts that differ in size by approximately 500 nucleotides.

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