The general stress response of yeast involves the induction of ∼200 genes in response to any one of several stresses. These genes are activated by Msn2 and repressed by the Srb10 kinase, a member of the mediator complex. Normally, Msn2 is exported from the nucleus, and Srb10 represses STRE gene expression. Under stress, Msn2 relocalizes to the nucleus and, with the relief of Srb10 repression, activates transcription. The stress response is rapid, but quickly attenuated. We show here that this attenuation is due to a nuclear-dependent degradation of Msn2. Msn2 rapidly disappeared from cells after heat or osmotic shock. This disappearance was not due to a change in MSN2 RNA levels, which remain constant during stress. Pulse-chase experiments confirmed the stress-dependent Msn2 degradation. The levels of Msn2 were significantly reduced in msn5 deletion cells that have been shown to constitutively retain Msn2 in the nucleus. The degradation was Srb10-dependent; Msn2 was not degraded in an srb10 deletion mutant. An Msn2 internal deletion mutant was insensitive to Srb10 repression, but was degraded by the Srb10-dependent mechanism. Thus, this mutation uncoupled Srb10 repression from degradation.
Communicating editor: M. Hampsey
- Received August 10, 2004.
- Accepted November 17, 2004.
- Genetics Society of America