Nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR), the ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to use good nitrogen sources in preference to poor ones, derives from nitrogen-responsive regulation of the GATA family transcription activators Gln3 and Gat1. In nitrogen-replete conditions, the GATA factors are cytoplasmic and NCR-sensitive transcription minimal. When only poor nitrogen sources are available, Gln3 is nuclear, dramatically increasing GATA factor-mediated transcription. This regulation was originally attributed to mechanistic Tor protein kinase complex 1 (mTorC1)-mediated control of Gln3. However, we recently showed that two regulatory systems act cumulatively to maintain cytoplasmic Gln3 sequestration, only one of which is mTorC1. Present experiments demonstrate that the other previously elusive component is uncharged transfer RNA-activated, Gcn2 protein kinase-mediated general amino acid control (GAAC). Gcn2 and Gcn4 are required for NCR-sensitive nuclear Gln3-Myc13 localization, and from epistasis experiments Gcn2 appears to function upstream of Ure2. Bmh1/2 are also required for nuclear Gln3-Myc13 localization and appear to function downstream of Ure2. Overall, Gln3 phosphorylation levels decrease upon loss of Gcn2, Gcn4, or Bmh1/2. Our results add a new dimension to nitrogen-responsive GATA-factor regulation and demonstrate the cumulative participation of the mTorC1 and GAAC pathways, which respond oppositely to nitrogen availability, in the nitrogen-responsive control of catabolic gene expression in yeast.
- Received September 11, 2016.
- Accepted December 21, 2016.
- Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America