Differing responses of Gat1 and Gln3 phosphorylation and localization to rapamycin and methionine sulfoximine treatment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae


  • Editor: Monique Bolotin-Fukuhara

Correspondence: Terrance G. Cooper, Department of Molecular Sciences, University of Tennessee, 858 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA. Tel.: +1 901 448 6179; fax: +1 901 448 8462; e-mail: tcooper@utmem.edu


Gln3 and Gat1/Nil1 are GATA-family transcription factors responsible for transcription of nitrogen-catabolic genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Intracellular Gln3 localization and Gln3-dependent transcription respond in parallel to the nutritional environment and inhibitors of Tor1/2 (rapamycin) and glutamine synthetase (l-methionine sulfoximine, MSX). However, detectable Gln3 phosphorylation, though influenced by nutrients and inhibitors, correlates neither with Gln3 localization nor nitrogen catabolite repression-sensitive transcription in a consistent way. To establish relationships between Gln3 and Gat1 regulation, we performed experiments parallel to those we previously reported for Gln3. Gat1 and Gln3 localization are similar during steady-state growth, being cytoplasmic and nuclear with good and poor nitrogen sources, respectively. Localization correlates with Gat1- and Gln3-mediated transcription. In contrast, three characteristics of Gat1 and Gln3 differ significantly: (i) the kinetics of their localization in response to nutritional transitions and rapamycin-treatment; (ii) their opposite responses to MSX-treatment, i.e. that cytoplasmic Gln3 becomes nuclear following MSX addition, whereas nuclear Gat1 becomes cytoplasmic; and (iii) their phosphorylation levels in the above situations. In instances where Gln3 phosphorylation can be straightforwardly demonstrated to change, Gat1 phosphorylation (in the same samples) appears invariant. The only exception was following carbon starvation, where Gat1, like Gln3, is hyperphosphorylated in a Snf1-dependent manner. However, neither carbon starvation nor MSX treatment elicits Snf1-independent Gat1 hyperphosphorylation, as observed for Gln3.