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Genetics. 2001 Jan;157(1):17-26.

The rye mutants identify a role for Ssn/Srb proteins of the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme during stationary phase entry in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Program in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells enter into a distinct resting state, known as stationary phase, in response to specific types of nutrient deprivation. We have identified a collection of mutants that exhibited a defective transcriptional response to nutrient limitation and failed to enter into a normal stationary phase. These rye mutants were isolated on the basis of defects in the regulation of YGP1 expression. In wild-type cells, YGP1 levels increased during the growth arrest caused by nutrient deprivation or inactivation of the Ras signaling pathway. In contrast, the levels of YGP1 and related genes were significantly elevated in the rye mutants during log phase growth. The rye defects were not specific to this YGP1 response as these mutants also exhibited multiple defects in stationary phase properties, including an inability to survive periods of prolonged starvation. These data indicated that the RYE genes might encode important regulators of yeast cell growth. Interestingly, three of the RYE genes encoded the Ssn/Srb proteins, Srb9p, Srb10p, and Srb11p, which are associated with the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme. Thus, the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme may be a target of the signaling pathways responsible for coordinating yeast cell growth with nutrient availability.

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