Distinct patterns of histone acetyltransferase and Mediator deployment at yeast protein-coding genes

Genes Dev. 2018 Sep 1;32(17-18):1252-1265. doi: 10.1101/gad.312173.118. Epub 2018 Aug 14.


The transcriptional coactivators Mediator and two histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes, NuA4 and SAGA, play global roles in transcriptional activation. Here we explore the relative contributions of these factors to RNA polymerase II association at specific genes and gene classes by rapid nuclear depletion of key complex subunits. We show that the NuA4 HAT Esa1 differentially affects certain groups of genes, whereas the SAGA HAT Gcn5 has a weaker but more uniform effect. Relative dependence on Esa1 and Tra1, a shared component of NuA4 and SAGA, distinguishes two large groups of coregulated growth-promoting genes. In contrast, we show that the activity of Mediator is particularly important at a separate, small set of highly transcribed TATA-box-containing genes. Our analysis indicates that at least three distinct combinations of coactivator deployment are used to generate moderate or high transcription levels and suggests that each may be associated with distinct forms of regulation.

Keywords: Esa1; Gcn5; Mediator; Tra1; histone acetylation; transcription.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / physiology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Mediator Complex / metabolism
  • Mediator Complex / physiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology*
  • TATA-Box Binding Protein / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • Histones
  • Mediator Complex
  • SPT15 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • TATA-Box Binding Protein
  • TRA1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Esa1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • GCN5 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Histone Acetyltransferases