Several enzymes of the lysine pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were found to respond to an induction mechanism mediated by the product of gene LYS14 in the presence of 2-aminoadipate semialdehyde, an intermediate of this pathway. This novel regulatory mechanism appears independent of the specific repression by lysine and of the general control of amino acid biosynthesis. Genes LYS1, LYS9 and LYS14 have been cloned and their DNAs used to assay the corresponding messenger RNAs. The results suggest that the induction mechanism, as well as the specific and general regulations, operate at the transcriptional level.
The synthesis of saccharopine dehydrogenase (glutamate-forming), previously shown to require the unlinked genes LYS9 and LYS14, is also affected by the induction mechanism. The leaky auxotrophic behaviour of lys14 mutants is explained by the low basal level of expression of LYS9, the structural gene of this enzyme, in the absence of induction by 2-aminoadipate semialdehyde.