TitleCombinatorial control of diverse metabolic and physiological functions by transcriptional regulators of the yeast sulfur assimilation pathway.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPetti, AA, R McIsaac, S, Ho-Shing, O, Bussemaker, HJ, Botstein, D
JournalMol Biol Cell
Date Published2012 Aug
Keywords5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors, DNA-Binding Proteins, Gene Deletion, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal, Genome, Fungal, Methionine, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins, Sulfur, Transcription Factors

Methionine abundance affects diverse cellular functions, including cell division, redox homeostasis, survival under starvation, and oxidative stress response. Regulation of the methionine biosynthetic pathway involves three DNA-binding proteins-Met31p, Met32p, and Cbf1p. We hypothesized that there exists a "division of labor" among these proteins that facilitates coordination of methionine biosynthesis with diverse biological processes. To explore combinatorial control in this regulatory circuit, we deleted CBF1, MET31, and MET32 individually and in combination in a strain lacking methionine synthase. We followed genome-wide gene expression as these strains were starved for methionine. Using a combination of bioinformatic methods, we found that these regulators control genes involved in biological processes downstream of sulfur assimilation; many of these processes had not previously been documented as methionine dependent. We also found that the different factors have overlapping but distinct functions. In particular, Met31p and Met32p are important in regulating methionine metabolism, whereas p functions as a "generalist" transcription factor that is not specific to methionine metabolism. In addition, Met31p and Met32p appear to regulate iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis through direct and indirect mechanisms and have distinguishable target specificities. Finally, CBF1 deletion sometimes has the opposite effect on gene expression from MET31 and MET32 deletion.

Alternate JournalMol. Biol. Cell