MAP kinase and cAMP filamentation signaling pathways converge on the unusually large promoter of the yeast FLO11 gene

Steffen Rupp, Eric Summers, Hsiu‐Jung Lo, Hiten Madhani, Gerald Fink

Author Affiliations

  1. Steffen Rupp1,
  2. Eric Summers1,
  3. Hsiu‐Jung Lo1,
  4. Hiten Madhani1 and
  5. Gerald Fink*,1
  1. 1 Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA
  1. *Corresponding author. E-mail: fink{at}
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In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two major signal transduction pathways, the Kss1 MAPK pathway and the cAMP‐regulated pathway, are critical for the differentiation of round yeast form cells to multicellular, invasive pseudohyphae. Here we report that these parallel pathways converge on the promoter of a gene, FLO11, which encodes a cell surface protein required for pseudohyphal formation. The FLO11 promoter is unusually large, containing at least four upstream activation sequences (UASs) and nine repression elements which together span at least 2.8 kb. Several lines of evidence indicate that the MAPK and cAMP signals are received by distinct transcription factors and promoter elements. First, regulation via the MAPK pathway requires the transcription factors Ste12p/Tec1p, whereas cAMP‐mediated activation requires a distinct factor, Flo8p. Secondly, mutations in either pathway block FLO11 transcription. Overexpression of STE12 can suppress the loss of FLO8, and overexpression of FLO8 can suppress the loss of STE12. Finally, multiple distinct promoter regions of the FLO11 promoter are required for its activation by either Flo8p or Ste12p/Tec1p. Thus, like the promoters of the key developmental genes, HO and IME1, the FLO11 promoter is large and complex, endowing it with the ability to integrate multiple inputs.

  • Received October 12, 1998.
  • Revision received December 22, 1998.
  • Accepted January 11, 1999.
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