Regulation of expression of the galactose gene cluster in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Isolation and characterization of the regulatory gene GAL4

Mol Gen Genet. 1983;191(1):31-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00330886.


The GAL4 gene positively regulating the expression of the gene cluster GAL7-GAL10-GAL1 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was isolated for its ability to suppress a recessive mutation in that gene. When the isolated gene was incorporated into a multi-copy plasmid, the GAL cluster genes in the host chromosome partially escaped the normal control; a yeast that harbors the plasmid bearing the GAL4 gene synthesized the galactose-metabolizing enzymes encoded by the GAL cluster genes at a low but significant level in the absence of galactose. If the GAL7 gene was amplified along with GAL4 on the multi-copy plasmid, the constitutive synthesis of Gal-1-P uridylyl transferase encoded by GAL7 was further pronounced and the enzyme activity reached the level of the fully induced wild-type yeast. Such an escape synthesis of the GAL enzymes was not detected if GAL4 or both GAL4 and GAL7 were carried by a single-copy plasmid. The results suggest that the escape synthesis of GAL enzymes observed in the GAL4-amplified yeast was a consequence of overproduction of the GAL4 protein. The GAL80 gene negatively regulating the GAL cluster genes was also isolated, and when amplified together with GAL4, no escape synthesis of the GAL enzymes was observed, suggesting that the balanced synthesis of two regulatory proteins was essential to maintain the repressed state of the GAL cluster genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Fungal / isolation & purification*
  • Galactose / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Galactose