The UV response involving the Ras signaling pathway and AP-1 transcription factors is conserved between yeast and mammals

Cell. 1994 May 6;77(3):381-90. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90153-8.


UV irradiation of mammalian cells activates AP-1 through a Ras-dependent pathway, independently of DNA damage. We show that the yeast S. cerevisiae has a remarkably similar UV response involving the AP-1 factor Gcn4, which is distinct from the DNA damage response. Transcriptional activation of HIS3 and HIS4 by Gcn4 is triggered by UV irradiation in a Ras-dependent fashion. Moreover, resistance of yeast to UV irradiation is correlated with the level of Ras activity and Gcn4 function. Like mammalian cells in which activated Ras leads to increased c-Jun synthesis and phosphorylation, the effects in yeast involve increased translation of GCN4 mRNA and a posttranslational event. However, this effect on GCN4 translation is different from the response to amino acid or purine starvation. Therefore, a UV signaling pathway involving Ras and AP-1 is an ancient and universal mechanism involved in protection against damage to cellular components other than DNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amitrole / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / genetics*
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Genes, ras*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / radiation effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein Kinases
  • Amitrole