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Mol Cells. 2003 Dec 31;16(3):291-6.

The putative transcriptional activator MSN1 promotes chromium accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Sejong University, Seoul 143-747, Korea.


Yeast is a good system for studying molecular mechanisms of metal tolerance. Using a mini-Tn mutagenized yeast pool, we isolated a chromate-tolerant mutant, CrT9, that displayed metal-specific tolerance since it was only tolerant to Cr(VI), not to Cr(III), Cd, As, or Fe. The Cr-tolerance of CrT9 appeared to be due to reduced Cr accumulation as it accumulated only 56% as much as WT (Y800). Using IPCR (inverse PCR), we found that the mini-Tn had been inserted at nt 741 of the transcriptional activator, MSN1. MSN1 is a multifunctional protein involved in invertase activity, iron uptake, starch degradation, pseudohyphal growth, and osmotic gene expression. We found that there was only one mini-Tn insertion in CrT9 since MSN1 and mini-Tn probes hybridized to the same DNA fragment, and the MSN1 probe detected an enlarged MSN1 mRNA. When we over-expressed MSN1 in CrT9 and WT, both accumulated larger amounts of Cr. We conclude that Cr accumulation in S. cerevisiae is promoted by the transcriptional activator MSN1.

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