Multiple cis-regulatory elements and the yeast sulphur regulatory network are required for the regulation of the yeast glutathione transporter, Hgt1p

Curr Genet. 2005 Jun;47(6):345-58. doi: 10.1007/s00294-005-0571-7. Epub 2005 Apr 9.


HGT1 encodes a high-affinity glutathione transporter in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is induced under sulphur limitation. The present work demonstrates that repression by organic sulphur sources is under the control of the classic sulphur regulatory network, as seen by the absence of expression in a met4delta background. Cysteine appeared to be the principal regulatory molecule, since elevated levels were seen in str4delta strains (deficient in cysteine biosynthesis) that could be repressed by elevated levels of cysteine, but not by methionine or glutathione. Investigations into cis-regulatory elements revealed that the previously described motif, a 9-bp cis element, CCGCCACAC, located at the -356 to -364 region of the promoter could in fact be refined to a 7-bp CGCCACA motif that is also repeated at -333 to -340. The second copy of this motif was essential for activity, since mutations in the core region of the second copy completely abolished activity and regulation by sulphur sources. Activity, but not regulation, could be restored by reintroducing an additional copy upstream of the first copy. A third region, GCCGTCTGCAAGGCA, conserved in the HGT1 promoters of the different Saccharomyces spp, was observed at -300 to -285 but, while mutations in this region did not lead to any loss in repression, the basal and induced levels were significantly increased. In contrast to a previous report, no evidence was found for regulation by the VDE endonuclease. The strong repression at the transport level by glutathione seen in strains overexpressing HGT1 was due to a glutathione-dependent toxicity in these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / toxicity
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Mutation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Sulfur / physiology*


  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • OPT1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Sulfur
  • Glutathione
  • Cysteine