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EMBO J. 2007 Jul 11;26(13):3098-108. Epub 2007 Jun 14.

The Sch9 kinase is a chromatin-associated transcriptional activator of osmostress-responsive genes.

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Department of Biotechnology, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-CSIC, Valencia, Spain.


The yeast Sch9 kinase has been implicated in the cellular adjustment to nutrient availability and in the regulation of aging. Here, we define a novel role for Sch9 in the transcriptional activation of osmostress inducible genes. Loss-of-function mutants sch9 are sensitive to hyperosmotic stress and show an impaired transcriptional response upon osmotic shock of several defense genes. We show that Sch9 is required for gene expression regulated by Sko1, a transcription factor, which is directly targeted by the Hog1 MAP kinase. Sch9 interacts in vitro with both Sko1 and Hog1. Additionally, Sch9 phosphorylates Sko1 in vitro. When artificially tethered to promoter DNA, Sch9 strongly activates transcription independently of osmotic stress. Using in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrate that Sch9 is recruited to the GRE2 and CTT1 genes exclusively under osmostress conditions, and that this recruitment is dependent on Hog1 and Sko1. Furthermore, Sch9 is required for the proper recruitment of Hog1 at the same genes. Our data reveal the complexity of stress-induced transcription by the regulated association of signaling kinases to chromatin.

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