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Mol Cell Biol. 1995 Jun;15(6):3187-96.

Nutrient availability and the RAS/cyclic AMP pathway both induce expression of ribosomal protein genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae but by different mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544, USA.


By differential hybridization, we identified a number of genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that are activated by addition of cyclic AMP (cAMP) to cAMP-depleted cells. A majority, but not all, of these genes encode ribosomal proteins. While expression of these genes is also induced by addition of the appropriate nutrient to cells starved for a nitrogen source or for a sulfur source, the pathway for nutrient activation of ribosomal protein gene transcription is distinct from that of cAMP activation: (i) cAMP-mediated transcriptional activation was blocked by prior addition of an inhibitor of protein synthesis whereas nutrient-mediated activation was not, and (ii) cAMP-mediated induction of expression occurred through transcriptional activation whereas nutrient-mediated induction was predominantly a posttranscriptional response. Transcriptional activation of the ribosomal protein gene RPL16A by cAMP is mediated through a upstream activation sequence element consisting of a pair of RAP1 binding sites and sequences between them, suggesting that RAP1 participates in the cAMP activation process. Since RAP1 protein decays during starvation for cAMP, regulation of ribosomal protein genes under these conditions may directly relate to RAP1 protein availability. These results define additional critical targets of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase, suggest a mechanism to couple ribosome production to the metabolic activity of the cell, and emphasize that nutrient regulation is independent of the RAS/cAMP pathway.

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