Constitutive expression of the maltose fermentative enzymes in Saccharomyces carlsbergensis is dependent upon the mutational activation of a nonessential homolog of MAL63.

R. A. Dubin, M. J. Charron, S. R. Haut, R. B. Needleman, C. A. Michels

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Maltose fermentation in Saccharomyces carlsbergensis is dependent upon the MAL6 locus. This complex locus is composed of the MAL61 and MAL62 genes, which encode maltose permease and maltase, respectively, and a third gene, MAL63, which codes for a trans-acting positive regulatory product. In wild-type strains, expression of the MAL61 and MAL62 mRNAs and proteins is induced by maltose and induction is dependent upon the MAL63 gene. Mutants constitutively expressing the MAL61 and MAL62 gene products have been isolated in mal63 backgrounds, and the mutations which have been analyzed map to a fourth MAL6-linked gene, MAL64. Cloning and characterization of this new gene are described in this report. The results revealed that the MAL64-C alleles present in constitutive strains encode a trans-acting positive function required for constitutive expression of the MAL61 and MAL62 gene products. In inducible strains, the MAL64 gene is dispensable, as deletion of the gene had no effect on maltose fermentation or maltose-regulated induction. MAL64 encoded transcripts of 2.0 and 1.4 kilobase pairs. While both MAL64 mRNAs were constitutively expressed in constitutive strains, they were maltose inducible in wild-type strains and induction was dependent upon the MAL63 gene. The MAL63 and MAL64 genes are at least partially structurally homologous, suggesting that they control MAL61 and MAL62 transcript accumulation by similar mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1035
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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