Zinc starvation induces a stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is mediated by the Msn2p and Msn4p transcriptional activators
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During the production of wine and beer, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can encounter an environment that is deficient in zinc, resulting in a 'sluggish' or a 'stuck' ferment. It has been shown that the Zap1p-transcription factor induces the expression of a regulon in response to zinc deficiency; however, it was evident that a separate regulon was also activated during zinc deficiency in a Zap1p-independent manner. This study discovered the Msn2p and Msn4p (Msn2/4p) transcriptional activator proteins to be an additional control mechanism inducing the stress response during zinc deficiency. Promoter sequence analysis identified the stress response element (STRE) motif, recognized by Msn2/4p, and was significantly enriched in the promoters of genes induced by zinc deficiency. An investigation using genome-wide analyses revealed a distinct regulon consisting of STREcontaining genes whose zinc-responsive expression was abolished in an msn2 msn4 double mutant. An STRE-driven lacZ reporter construct confirmed that expression of the genes within this regulon was perturbed by the deletion of MSN2 and MSN4 and also implicated Hog1p as a contributing factor. This research provides a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the yeast response to zinc deficiency during fermentation.
FEMS Yeast Research