GAL11 (SPT13), a Transcriptional Regulator of Diverse Yeast Genes, Affects the Phosphorylation State of GAL4, a Highly Specific Transcriptional Activator

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The GAL4 protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a DNA-binding transcriptional activator that is highly specific for the GAL genes. In vivo levels of GAL gene transcription are closely correlated with the phosphorylation state of GAL4. In vivo levels of GAL gene transcription are also affected by the activity of the GAL11 (SPT13) protein, a protein that has been implicated as a global auxiliary transcriptional factor. Here we examine the influence of GAL11 (SPT13) on the phosphorylation state of GAL4. Cells bearing a gal11 deletion mutation are defective in the production or maintenance of GAL4III, a phosphorylated form of GAL4 that is associated with higher levels of GAL gene transcription. In addition, the gal11 deletion cells are reduced in total GAL4 protein. However, the fivefold-reduced expression of the GAL1 gene observed in gal11 deletion cells cannot be due solely to reduced levels of total GAL4 protein, since gal11 deletion cells amplified for GAL4 production are still markedly reduced in GAL4 protein-dependent transcription. Thus, these data demonstrate that the GAL11 protein augments GAL4 protein-dependent transcription in a manner that is tightly coupled to the formation or maintenance of a phosphorylated form of GAL4.

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