Snf1/AMPK Regulates Gcn5 Occupancy, H3 Acetylation and Chromatin Remodelling at S. Cerevisiae ADY2 Promoter

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 May;1819(5):419-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2012.01.009. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


The ability of cells to respond to changes in their environment is mediated by transcription factors that remodel chromatin and reprogram expression of specific subsets of genes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, changes in carbon source lead to gene induction by Adr1 and Cat8 that are known to require the upstream function of the Snf1 protein kinase, the central regulator of carbon metabolism, to exert their activating effect. How Snf1 facilitates transcription activation by Adr1 and Cat8 is not known. Here we show that under derepressing conditions, deletion of SNF1 abolishes the increase of histone H3 acetylation at the promoter of the glucose-repressed ADY2 gene, and as a consequence profoundly affects the chromatin structural alterations accompanying transcriptional activation. Adr1 and Cat8 are not required to regulate the acetylation switch and show only a partial influence on chromatin remodelling at this promoter, though their double deletion completely abolishes mRNA accumulation. Finally, we show that under derepressing conditions the recruitment of the histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 is abolished by SNF1 deletion, possibly explaining the lack of increased histone H3 acetylation and nucleosome remodelling. The results highlight a mechanism by which signalling to chromatin provides an essential permissive signal that is required for activation by glucose-responsive transcription factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation / drug effects
  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / drug effects
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Membrane Transport Proteins* / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins* / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases* / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases* / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation* / drug effects
  • Transcriptional Activation* / genetics


  • ADR1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • ATO1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • CAT8 protein, S cerevisiae
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Histones
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Carbon
  • GCN5 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • SNF1-related protein kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Glucose