, Volume 252, Issue 4, pp 470-482

Regulation of genes encoding subunits of the trehalose synthase complex inSaccharomyces cerevisiae: novel variations of STRE-mediated transcription control?

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Abstract

Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells show under suboptimal growth conditions a complex response that leads to the acquisition of tolerance to different types of environmental stress. This response is characterised by enhanced expression of a number of genes which contain so-called stress-responsive elements (STREs) in their promoters. In addition, the cells accumulate under suboptimal conditions the putative stress protectant trehalose. In this work, we have examined the expression of four genes encoding subunits of the trehalose synthase complex,GGS1/TPS1, TPS2, TPS3 andTSL1. We show that expression of these genes is coregulated under stress conditions. Like for many other genes containing STREs, expression of the trehalose synthase genes is also induced by heat and osmotic stress and by nutrient starvation, and negatively regulated by the Ras-cAMP pathway. However, during fermentative growth onlyTSL1 shows an expression pattern like that of the STRE-controlled genesCTT1 andSSA3, while expression of the three other trehalose synthase genes is only transiently down-regulated. This difference in expression might be related to the known requirement of trehalose biosynthesis for the control of yeast glycolysis and hence for fermentative growth. We conclude that the mere presence in the promoter of (an) active STRE(s) does not necessarily imply complete coregulation of expression. Additional mechanisms appear to fine tune the activity of STREs in order to adapt the expression of the downstream genes to specific requirements.

Communicated by C. P. Hollenberg