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Cell. 1986 Dec 26;47(6):929-37.

Yeast peptide pheromones, a-factor and alpha-factor, activate a common response mechanism in their target cells.


We show that in yeast the cell type specificity of pheromone response is determined solely by the species of receptor that a cell synthesizes. The two receptor-pheromone interactions are functionally interchangeable and involve the creation of a common intracellular signal. In particular, we find that provision of a-factor receptor or alpha-factor receptor in mat alpha 1 mutants, which normally do not express either receptor or any other a- or alpha-specific products, allows response to the appropriate pheromone. Moreover, provision of a-factor receptor in a cells lacking alpha-factor receptor restores mating competence to those cells. Finally, an aspect of pheromone response that is normally unique to a-factor action on alpha cells--increased transcription from the alpha-specific STE3 gene--can also be observed following alpha-factor treatment of pseudo-a cells (mat alpha 2 ste3 ste13), special mutants that respond to alpha-factor and also have an active STE3 promoter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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