Cellular differentiation in response to nutrient availability: The repressor of meiosis, Rme1p, positively regulates invasive growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Genetics. 2003 Nov;165(3):1045-58. doi: 10.1093/genetics/165.3.1045.


In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transition from a nutrient-rich to a nutrient-limited growth medium typically leads to the implementation of a cellular adaptation program that results in invasive growth and/or the formation of pseudohyphae. Complete depletion of essential nutrients, on the other hand, leads either to entry into a nonbudding, metabolically quiescent state referred to as G0 in haploid strains or to meiosis and sporulation in diploids. Entry into meiosis is repressed by the transcriptional regulator Rme1p, a zinc-finger-containing DNA-binding protein. In this article, we show that Rme1p positively regulates invasive growth and starch metabolism in both haploid and diploid strains by directly modifying the transcription of the FLO11 (also known as MUC1) and STA2 genes, which encode a cell wall-associated protein essential for invasive growth and a starch-degrading glucoamylase, respectively. Genetic evidence suggests that Rme1p functions independently of identified signaling modules that regulate invasive growth and of other transcription factors that regulate FLO11 and that the activation of FLO11 is dependent on the presence of a promoter sequence that shows significant homology to identified Rme1p response elements (RREs). The data suggest that Rme1p functions as a central switch between different cellular differentiation pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Plasmids
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology


  • DNA Primers
  • RME1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins