Isolation and characterization of extragenic suppressors of mutations in the SSA hsp70 genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
R J Nelson, M F Heschl, E A Craig


Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that contain null alleles of two hsp70 genes, SSA1 and SSA2, are temperature sensitive for growth. In this study, extragenic suppressors of ssa1 ssa2 have been isolated. Suppression is due to mutations at nuclear loci designated EXA1, EXA2 and EXA3 for EXtragenic suppressor hsp70 subfamily A. Two of the four EXA1 alleles are dominant as is EXA3-1. The other two EXA1 alleles as well as the sole EXA2 allele are recessive. EXA1 mutations lead to accumulation of a previously uncharacterized form of hsp70. EXA2 and EXA3 mutations affect the regulation of the stress response. In exa2-1 ssa1 ssa2 strains the gene products of the remaining SSA hsp70 genes, SSA3 and SSA4 (Ssa3/4p), accumulate to higher levels. The EXA3-1 mutation results in increased accumulation of both Ssa3/4p and the hsp70s encoded by the SSB1 and SSB2 genes (Ssb1/2p), suggesting that the EXA3 gene product plays a central role in the yeast stress response. Consistent with this hypothesis, EXA3-1 is tightly linked to HSF1, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulatory protein known as "heat shock factor." All of the genes identified in this study seem to be involved in regulating the expression of SSA3 and SSA4 or the activity of their protein products.