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Genetics. 1990 May;125(1):21-7.

GAL4 mutations that separate the transcriptional activation and GAL80-interactive functions of the yeast GAL4 protein.

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Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27706.


The carboxy-terminal 28 amino acids of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcriptional activator protein GAL4 execute two functions--transcriptional activation and interaction with the negative regulatory protein, GAL80. Here we demonstrate that these two functions are separable by single amino acid changes within this region. We determined the sequences of four GAL4C-mutations, and characterized the abilities of the encoded GAL4C proteins to activate transcription of the galactose/melibiose regulon in the presence of GAL80 and superrepressible GAL80S alleles. One of the GAL4C mutations can be compensated by a specific GAL80S mutation, resulting in a wild-type phenotype. These results support the idea that while the GAL4 activation function tolerates at least minor alterations in the GAL4 carboxyl terminus, the GAL80-interactive function is highly sequence-specific and sensitive even to single amino acid alterations. They also argue that the GAL80S mutations affect the affinity of GAL80 for GAL4, and not the ability of GAL80 to bind inducer.

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