GAL11P: a yeast mutation that potentiates the effect of weak GAL4-derived activators

Cell. 1990 Dec 21;63(6):1299-309. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90425-e.


A mutant yeast in which a weak GAL4-derived activator functions as a strong activator bears a single mis-sense mutation in GAL11 (a.k.a. SPT13). The first 74 amino acids of GAL4, including the zinc-dependent DNA binding region, attached to an acidic activating sequence, are sufficient to respond both to GAL11 and to our mutant GAL11P (potentiator). PPR1, a yeast activator with a similar zinc finger sequence, also responds to GAL11 and to GAL11P, whereas regulators bearing unrelated DNA binding motifs do not. GAL11 itself works as a strong activator when tethered to DNA by fusion to the bacterial LexA protein, and deletion of GAL11 is known to cause a 5- to 10-fold reduction in GAL4 activity. We suggest that a complex of GAL4 and GAL11 constitutes a particularly strong activator; evidence that the putative GAL4-GAL11 complex ordinarily forms preferentially on DNA suggests a biological rationale for GAL11 action.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Mediator Complex
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • TATA Box
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Zinc Fingers*
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • GAL11 protein, S cerevisiae
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Mediator Complex
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta-Galactosidase