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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Apr;13(4):2172-81.

Bipartite structure of an early meiotic upstream activation sequence from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032.


Diploid a/alpha Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells cease mitotic growth and enter meiosis in response to starvation. Expression of meiotic genes depends on the IME1 gene product, which accumulates only in meiotic cells. We report here an analysis of the regulatory region of IME2, an IME1-dependent meiotic gene. Deletion and substitution studies identified a 48-bp IME1-dependent upstream activation sequence (UAS). Activity of the UAS also requires the RIM11, RIM15, and RIM16 gene products, which are required for expression of the chromosomal IME2 promoter and for meiosis. Through a selection for suppressors that permit UAS activity in an ime1 deletion mutant, we identified recessive mutations in three genes, SIN3 (also called RPD1, UME4, and SDI1), RPD3, and UME6 (also called CAR80), that were previously known as negative regulators of other early meiotic genes. Mutational analysis of the IME2 UAS reveals two critical sequence elements: a G+C-rich sequence (called URS1), previously identified at many meiotic genes, and a newly described element, the T4C site, that we found at a subset of meiotic genes. In agreement with prior studies, URS1 mutations lead to elevated IME2 UAS activity in the absence of IME1. However, the URS1 mutations prevent any further stimulation of UAS activity by IME1. Repression through URS1 has been shown to require the UME6 gene product. We find that activation of the IME2 UAS by IME1 also requires the UME6 gene product. Thus, UME6 and the URS1 site both have dual negative and positive roles at the IME2 UAS. We propose that IME1 modifies UME6 to convert it from a negulator to a positive Regulor.

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