The IME1 gene is essential for initiation of meiosis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Transcription of IME1 is detected under conditions of starvation for nitrogen and glucose, and in the presence of the MATa1 and MATalpha2 gene products. In our previous work, we have shown that there are two elements acting as TUP1-dependent upstream repression sequence (URS) and tup1 mutation-dependent upstream activation sequence (UAS) between nt -915 and -621 of the IME1 promoter under nutritional conditions. The region from -915 to -621 has also been reported to harbour meiotic URS and UAS when a/alpha cells were transferred to sporulation conditions. To identify proteins that are able to bind to the region, we screened a cDNA library fused with the Gal4-activation domain by means of the one-hybrid system. We identified a previously unknown gene (YDR451c), which we designated YHP1, encoding a homeodomain protein of the Drosophila antennapedia type. The region for binding of Yhp1 was delimited to the 28 bp region between nt -702 and -675 of the IME1 promoter in vivo and in vitro, and the 28 bp region harboured a URS activity in a Yhp1-dependent manner under nutrient growth conditions. Although a yhp1 single-disruption mutation did not give rise to a scorable phenotype under nutritional and sporulation conditions, the level of the YHP1 transcript was significantly lower in the cells grown in acetate medium (presporulation medium) and sporulation medium than those grown in glucose medium, and the reduction of YHP1 transcription in acetate medium coincided with an increment of the IME1 transcript. We suggest that the homeoprotein Yhp1 that binds directly to the 28 bp region of the IME1 promoter is a new repressor acting under glucose growth conditions.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.