Down regulation of the alpha-factor pheromone receptor in S. cerevisiae

Cell. 1986 Aug 1;46(3):345-53. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90655-0.


The peptide pheromone, alpha-factor, was found to elicit down regulation of receptor sites on yeast a cell targets. Cellular uptake of alpha-factor accompanied the loss of receptor sites. Receptor-deficient a cells bearing a deletion of the STE2 gene were unable to internalize alpha-factor. Cultures were found to reaccumulate receptor sites following the initial period of down regulation; reaccumulation was dependent upon protein synthesis. Pheromone-resistant mutants, ste4-3 and ste5-3, retained the ability to down regulate receptors but failed to show reaccumulation. Our results suggest that alpha-factor-receptor complexes enter the cell by receptor-mediated endocytosis and that receptors are continuously lost and resynthesized in the presence of alpha-factor. We found no reduction of alpha-factor binding capacity in a cell cultures that had adapted to alpha-factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Endocytosis
  • Fungal Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Mating Factor
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Mating Factor
  • Receptors, Peptide*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Mating Factor
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Transcription Factors
  • Mating Factor