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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Aug;20(15):5766-76.

Activation of the Kss1 invasive-filamentous growth pathway induces Ty1 transcription and retrotransposition in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1UPR 9073 du CNRS, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, F-75005 Paris, France.


Using a set of genomic TY1A-lacZ fusions, we show that Ste12 and Tec1, two transcription factors of the Kss1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade activate Ty1 transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This result strongly suggests that the invasive-filamentous pathway regulates Ty1 transcription. Since this pathway is active in diploid cells, we suspected that Ty1 transposition might occur in this cell type, despite the fact that this event has been never reported before (unless activated by heterologous promoters such as that of GAL1). We demonstrate here that constitutive activation of the invasive-filamentous pathway by the STE11-4 allele or by growth in low-nitrogen medium induces Ty1 transcription and retrotransposition in diploid cells. We show that Ty1 retrotransposition can be activated by STE11-4 in haploid cells as well. Our findings provide the first evidence that Ty1 retrotransposition can be activated by environmental signals that affect differentiation. Activation of the Kss1 MAPK cascade by stress is known to cause filament formation that permits the search for nutrients away from the colonization site. We propose that activation of Ty1 retrotransposition by this cascade could play a role in adaptive mutagenesis in response to stress.

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