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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Jan 11;21(1):69-77.

Glucose repression of lactose/galactose metabolism in Kluyveromyces lactis is determined by the concentration of the transcriptional activator LAC9 (K1GAL4) [corrected].

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Nucleic Acids Res 1993 Feb 25;21(4):1054.


In the budding yeast Kluyveromyces lactis glucose repression of genes involved in lactose and galactose metabolism is primarily mediated by LAC9 (or K1GAL4) the homologue of the well-known Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcriptional activator GAL4. Phenotypic difference in glucose repression existing between natural strains are due to differences in the LAC9 gene (Breunig, 1989, Mol.Gen.Genet. 261, 422-427). Comparison between the LAC9 alleles of repressible and non-repressible strains revealed that the phenotype is a result of differences in LAC9 gene expression. A two-basepair alteration in the LAC9 promoter region produces a promoter-down effect resulting in slightly reduced LAC9 protein levels under all growth conditions tested. In glucose/galactose medium any change in LAC9 expression drastically affects expression of LAC9 controlled genes e.g. those encoding beta-galactosidase or galactokinase revealing a strong dependence of the kinetics of induction on the LAC9 concentration. We propose that in tightly repressible strains the activator concentration drops below a critical threshold that is required for induction to occur. A model is presented to explain how small differences in activator levels are amplified to produce big changes in expression levels of metabolic genes.

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