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Published May 12, 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Regulatory Roles of the Galactose Permease and Kinase in the Induction Response of the GAL Network in Saccharomyces cerevisiae


The GAL genetic switch of Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits an ultrasensitive response to the inducer galactose as well as the "all-or-none" behavior characteristic of many eukaryotic regulatory networks. We have constructed a strain that allows intermediate levels of gene expression from a tunable GAL1 promoter at both the population and the single cell level by altering the regulation of the galactose permease Gal2p. Similar modifications to other feedback loops regulating the Gal80p repressor and the Gal3p signaling protein did not result in similarly tuned responses, indicating that the level of inducer transport is unique in its ability to control the switch response of the network. In addition, removal of the Gal1p galactokinase from the network resulted in a regimed response due to the dual role of this enzyme in galactose catabolism and transport. These two activities have competing effects on the response of the network to galactose such that the transport effects of Gal1p are dominant at low galactose concentrations, whereas its catabolic effects are dominant at high galactose concentrations. In addition, flow cytometry analysis revealed the unexpected phenomenon of multiple populations in the gal1{Delta} strains, which were not present in the isogenic GAL1 background. This result indicates that Gal1p may play a previously undescribed role in the stability of the GAL network response.

Additional Information

© 2006 the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Received for publication, November 16, 2005 , and in revised form, March 7, 2006. We thank S. V. Avery and K. Weis for providing genes and plasmids used in assembling the constructs described in this work. We also thank R. A. Diamond for assistance in flow cytometry and data analysis. This work was supported by startup funds provided by the California Institute of Technology. The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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August 22, 2023
October 16, 2023