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Genetics. 1990 Jun;125(2):281-91.

Analysis of the GAL3 signal transduction pathway activating GAL4 protein-dependent transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey 17033.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae GAL/MEL regulon genes are normally induced within minutes of galactose addition, but gal3 mutants exhibit a 3-5-day induction lag. We have discovered that this long-term adaptation (LTA) phenotype conferred by gal3 is complemented by multiple copies of the GAL1 gene. Based on this result and the striking similarity between the GAL3 and GAL1 protein sequences we attempted to detect galactokinase activity that might be associated with the GAL3 protein. By both in vivo and in vitro tests the GAL3 gene product does not appear to catalyze a galactokinase-like reaction. In complementary experiments, Escherichia coli galactokinase expressed in yeast was shown to complement the gal1 but not the gal3 mutation. Thus, the complementation activity provided by GAL1 is not likely due to galactokinase activity, but rather due to a distinct GAL3-like activity. Overall, the results indicate that GAL1 encodes a bifunctional protein. In related experiments we tested for function of the LTA induction pathway in gal3 cells deficient for other gene functions. It has been known for some time that gal3gal1, gal3gal7, gal3gal10, and gal3 rho- are incapable of induction. We constructed isogenic haploid strains bearing the gal3 mutation in combination with either gal15 or pgi1 mutations: the gal15 and pgi1 blocks are not specific for the galactose pathway in contrast to the gal1, gal7 and gal10 blocks. The gal3gal5 and gal3pgi1 double mutants were not inducible, whereas both the gal5 and pgi1 single mutants were inducible. We conclude that, in addition to the GAL3-like activity of GAL1, functions beyond the galactose-specific GAL1, GAL7 and GAL10 enzymes are required for the LTA induction pathway.

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