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Genetics. 2005 Jan;169(1):91-106. Epub 2004 Sep 30.

Mss11p is a central element of the regulatory network that controls FLO11 expression and invasive growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch ZA-7600, South Africa.


The invasive and filamentous growth forms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are adaptations to specific environmental conditions, under particular conditions of limited nutrient availability. Both growth forms are dependent on the expression of the FLO11 gene, which encodes a cell-wall-associated glycoprotein involved in cellular adhesion. A complex regulatory network consisting of signaling pathways and transcription factors has been associated with the regulation of FLO11. Mss11p has been identified as a transcriptional activator of this gene, and here we present an extensive genetic analysis to identify functional relationships between Mss11p and other FLO11 regulators. The data show that Mss11p is absolutely required for the activation of FLO11 by most proteins that have previously been shown to affect FLO11 expression, including the signaling proteins Ras2p, Kss1p, and Tpk2p, the activators Tec1p, Flo8p, and Phd1p, and the repressors Nrg1p, Nrg2p, Sok2p, and Sfl1p. The genetic evidence furthermore suggests that Mss11p activity is not dependent on the presence of any of the above-mentioned factors and that the protein also regulates other genes involved in cellular adhesion phenotypes. Taken together, the data strongly suggest a central role for Mss11p in the regulatory network controlling FLO11 expression, invasive growth, and pseudohyphal differentiation.

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