The yeast Hot1 transcription factor is critical for activating a single target gene, STL1

Chen Bai, Masha Tesker, David Engelberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Transcription factors are commonly activated by signal transduction cascades and induce expression of many genes. They therefore play critical roles in determining the cell's fate. The yeast Hog1 MAP kinase pathway is believed to control the transcription of hundreds of genes via several transcription factors. To identify the bona fide target genes of Hog1, we inducibly expressed the spontaneously active variant Hog1D170A+F318L in cells lacking the Hog1 activator Pbs2. This system allowed monitoring the effects of Hog1 by itself. Expression of Hog1D170A+F318L in pbs2Δ cells imposed induction of just 105 and suppression of only 26 transcripts by at least twofold. We looked for the Hog1-responsive element within the promoter of the most highly induced gene, STL1 (88-fold). A novel Hog1 responsive element (HoRE) was identified and shown to be the direct target of the transcription factor Hot1. Unexpectedly, we could not find this HoRE in any other yeast promoter. In addition, the only gene whose expression was abolished in hot1Δ cells was STL1. Thus Hot1 is essential for transcription of just one gene, STL1. Hot1 may represent a class of transcription factors that are essential for transcription of a very few genes or even just one.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2357-2374
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Bai et al.


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