Expression studies and promoter analysis of the nuclear gene for mitochondrial transcription factor 1 ( MTF1 ) in yeast

Jan, P.-S., Stein, T. , Hehl, S. and Lisowsky, T. (1999) Expression studies and promoter analysis of the nuclear gene for mitochondrial transcription factor 1 ( MTF1 ) in yeast. Current Genetics, 36(1-2), pp. 37-48. (doi: 10.1007/s002940050470) (PMID:10447593)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The basal mitochondrial transcription apparatus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of the core enzyme for mitochondrial RNA polymerase and the specificity factor. The core enzyme is homologous to those of bacteriophages T3, T7 and SP6 whereas the specificity factor shows similarities with bacterial sigma factors. Recently it was shown that the bacteriophage-type core enzyme is widespread among the eukaryotic lineage and a common picture for the mitochondrial transcription apparatus in eukaryotic cells is now emerging. In contrast to the situation for the core enzyme, the gene for the specificity factor has only been identified from S. cerevisiae and more recently from two other yeast species. As the specificity factor is the key component for initiation of transcription at the mitochondrial promoter we wanted to study in more detail gene expression, regulation, and the function of the promoter of the nuclear MTF1 gene. For this purpose the messenger RNA level for scMTF1 was investigated under a large number of different growth conditions and thereby exhibited a very low, but regulated and carbon source-dependent, expression. Deletion experiments identify the minimal promoter for functional complementation in yeast. To evaluate the functional conservation of the promoter elements the homologous MTF1 gene from the closely related yeast Saccharomyces douglasii was isolated and tested in heterologous complementation experiments. In spite of a highly conserved protein sequence these studies demonstrate that at low-copy number sdMTF1 is not able to substitute for scMTF1 in S. cerevisiae. Promoter exchange experiments with MTF1 from S. cerevisiae and S. douglasii demonstrate that differences in gene expression are responsible for the failure in heterologous complementation. This finding prompted us to compare the promoter regions of MTF1 from four different yeast species. For this purpose the sequences of the 5′ regions from S. douglasii, S. kluyveri and Kluyveromyces lactis were determined. A comparison of these sequences identifies significant differences and rapid changes in the intergenic regions, even between closely related yeast species.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stein, Dr Torsten
Authors: Jan, P.-S., Stein, T., Hehl, S., and Lisowsky, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Current Genetics
ISSN (Online):1432-0983

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record