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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 May;14(5):3139-49.

MOT2 encodes a negative regulator of gene expression that affects basal expression of pheromone-responsive genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.


Pheromones induce haploid cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to differentiate into a mating-competent state. Ste11p is one of several protein kinases required to transmit the pheromone-induced signal and to maintain basal expression of certain mating-specific genes in the absence of pheromone stimulation. To identify potential regulators of Ste11p, we screened for suppressors that restored mating and basal transcriptional competence to a strain with a conditionally functional Ste11p. This screen uncovered a novel gene we call MOT2, for modulator of transcription. A mot2 deletion mutation leads to modest increases in the basal amounts of mRNA for several pheromone-responsive genes. Yet mot2 deletion does not affect the signal transmission activity of the pathway in either the presence or absence of pheromone stimulation. Therefore, we propose that Mot2p, directly or indirectly, represses basal transcription of certain mating-specific genes. Because mot2 deletion mutants also have a conditional cell lysis phenotype, we expect that Mot2p regulatory effects may be more global than for mating-specific gene expression.

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