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Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Sep;25(17):7459-72.

Severe adenine starvation activates Ty1 transcription and retrotransposition in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institute de Biologie Physico-Chimique, CNRS UPR 9073, Paris, France.


Ty1 retrotransposons of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are activated by different kinds of stress. Here we show that Ty1 transcription is stimulated under severe adenine starvation conditions. The Bas1 transcriptional activator, responsible for the induction of genes of the de novo AMP biosynthesis pathway (ADE) in the absence of adenine, is not involved in this response. Activation occurs mainly on Ty1 elements, whose expression is normally repressed by chromatin and is suppressed in a hta1-htb1Delta mutant that alters chromatin structure. Activation is also abolished in a snf2Delta mutant. Several regions of the Ty1 promoter are necessary to achieve full activation, suggesting that full integrity of the promoter sequences might be important for activation. Together, these observations are consistent with a model in which the activation mechanism involves chromatin remodeling at Ty1 promoters. The consequence of Ty1 transcriptional activation in response to adenine starvation is an increase in Ty1 cDNA levels and a relief of Ty1 dormancy. The retrotransposition of four native Ty1 elements increases in proportion to their increase in transcription. Implications for the regulation of Ty1 mobility by changes in Ty1 mRNA levels are discussed.

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