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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 12;276(2):1523-30.

Transcriptional regulation of the yeast gmp synthesis pathway by its end products.

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  • 1Institut de Biochimie et Génétique Cellulaires, CNRS UMR 5095, 1 Rue Camille Saint-Saëns, F-33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France.


AMP and GMP are synthesized from IMP by specific conserved pathways. In yeast, whereas IMP and AMP synthesis are coregulated, we found that the GMP synthesis pathway is specifically regulated. Transcription of the IMD genes, encoding the yeast homologs of IMP dehydrogenase, was repressed by extracellular guanine. Only this first step of GDP synthesis pathway is regulated, since the latter steps, encoded by the GUA1 and GUK1 genes, are guanine-insensitive. Use of mutants affecting GDP metabolism revealed that guanine had to be transformed into GDP to allow repression of the IMD genes. IMD gene transcription was also strongly activated by mycophenolic acid (MPA), a specific inhibitor of IMP dehydrogenase activity. Serial deletions of the IMD2 gene promoter revealed the presence of a negative cis-element, required for guanine regulation. Point mutations in this guanine response element strongly enhanced IMD2 expression, also making it insensitive to guanine and MPA. From these data, we propose that the guanine response element sequence mediates a repression process, which is enhanced by guanine addition, through GDP or a GDP derivative, and abolished in the presence of MPA.

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