Specialized gene expression programs are induced by signaling pathways that act on transcription factors. Whether these transcription factors can function in multiple developmental programs through a global switch in promoter selection is not known. We have used genome-wide location analysis to show that the yeast Ste12 transcription factor, which regulates mating and filamentous growth, is bound to distinct program-specific target genes dependent on the developmental condition. This condition-dependent distribution of Ste12 requires concurrent binding of the transcription factor Tec1 during filamentation and is differentially regulated by the MAP kinases Fus3 and Kss1. Program-specific distribution across the genome may be a general mechanism by which transcription factors regulate distinct gene expression programs in response to signaling.
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We are grateful to Hiten Madhani for many helpful suggestions; Lutz Kockel, Joan Richmond, and Ann Schlesinger for critical reading of the manuscript; Geoffrey Montgomery, Chris Nelson, Ben Gordon, Manolis Kamvysselis, Richard Jenner, and members of the Young and Fink lab for help and discussions; and Tim Köhler for sending reagents. This work was supported by the Human Frontier Science Program (J.Z.).