Many Ways of Transcriptional Regulation in Yeast

Benjamin Piña

Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, CSIC, Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

Article history:

Received October 19, 2000
Accepted November 29, 2000

Key words:

transcriptional activation, chromatin remodelling, histone acetylation, coactivators, yeast promotors


Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes is a complex process with many implications in the physiology of the organism. Yeast provides a unique combination of evolutive conservation of the regulatory processes and readiness of manipulation. Here I present an approximation to different levels of gene regulation. As first level, GAL genes respond to the presence of galactose; however, this apparently easy regulation pattern hides subtleties that have given to the discovery of many basic mechanisms of the trans-activation process. Constitutive activators, like Rap1p, provide second level of regulation. In this case, the problem lies in how a single factor can elicit different responses, from activation to repression. Two families of co-activators, histone-acetyl transferases and chromatin remodelling complexes, give further insides on how activators work and, more precisely, on the relationships between the transcriptional machinery and the chromatin. The ability to study heterologous activators in yeast increased notably our knowledge of both the functioning  of these activators and of the mechanisms of transcriptional activation in yeast. Last, the paper discusses the intriguing cross-talk between different cell processes like transcriptional regulation, RNA elongation, DNA repair, recombination, and aging.  

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