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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Nov;38(4):879-90.

A Rox1-independent hypoxic pathway in yeast. Antagonistic action of the repressor Ord1 and activator Yap1 for hypoxic expression of the SRP1/TIR1 gene.

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Faculté d'Oenologie, Université de Bordeaux II, 351 cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, France.


Hypoxic SRP1/TIR1 gene expression depends on the absence of haem but is independent of Rox1-mediated repression. We have found a new hypoxic pathway involving an antagonistic interaction between the Ixr1/Ord1 repressor and the Yap1 factor, a transcriptional activator involved in oxidative stress response. Here, we show that Ord1 repressed SRP1 gene expression under normoxia and hypoxia, whereas Yap1 activated it. Ord1 and Yap1 have been shown to bind the SRP1 promoter in a region extending from -299 to -156 bp upstream of the start codon. A typical AP-1 responsive element lying from -247 to -240 bp allows Yap1 binding. Internal deletion of sequences within the SRP1 promoter were introduced. Two regions were characterized at positions -299/-251 and -218/-156 that, once removed, resulted in a constitutive expression of SRP1 in a wild-type strain under normoxic conditions. Deletion of both these two sequences allowed the bypass of YAP1 requirement in a Deltayap1 strain, whereas these two internal deletions did not yield increased expression in a Deltaord1 strain compared with the full-length promoter. Both a single Deltaord1 mutant and a doubly disrupted Deltayap1 Deltaord1 strain yielded normoxic constitutive SRP1 expression and increased hypoxic SRP1 induction, thereby demonstrating that ord1 is epistatic to yap1. Thus, Yap1 is not directly involved in SRP1 induction by hypoxia, but is necessary to counteract the Ord1 effect.

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