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Cell. 1993 Jan 15;72(1):61-71.

RTG1 and RTG2: two yeast genes required for a novel path of communication from mitochondria to the nucleus.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.


The expression of some nuclear genes is sensitive to the functional state of mitochondria, a process we term retrograde regulation. Here we show that retrograde regulation of the yeast CIT2 gene encoding peroxisomal citrate synthase depends on a new class of upstream activation site element (UASr) and two previously unidentified genes, RTG1 and RTG2. RTG1 encodes a protein of 177 amino acids with similarity to basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that likely functions at the CIT2 UASr. RTG2 encodes a protein of 394 amino acids of unknown function. Cells containing null alleles of RTG1 and RTG2 are viable and respiratory competent. However, they are auxotrophic for glutamic or aspartic acid and cannot use acetate as a sole carbon source, suggesting that both the tricarboxylic acid and glyoxylate cycles are compromised. Thus, RTG1 and RTG2 are pivotal genes in controlling interorganelle communication between mitochondria, peroxisomes, and the nucleus.

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