14-3-3 functions as a comodulator of transcription by inhibiting coactivator functions [Signal Transduction]

October 29th, 2014 by Parua, P. K., Dombek, K. M., Young, E. T.

In eukaryotes combinatorial activation of transcription is an important component of gene regulation. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Adr1-Cat8 and Adr1-Oaf1/Pip2 are pairs of activators that act together to regulate two diverse sets of genes. Transcription activation of both sets is regulated positively by the yeast AMPK homologue, Snf1 in response to low glucose or the presence of a non-fermentable carbon source and negatively by two redundant 14-3-3 isoforms Bmh1 and Bmh2. Bmh regulates the function of these pairs at a post-promoter binding step by direct binding to Adr1. However, how Bmh regulates transcription after activator binding remains unknown. In the present study we analyzed Bmh-mediated regulation of two sets of genes activated independently by these pairs of activators. We report that Bmh inhibits mRNA synthesis when the second activator is absent. Using gene fusions we show that Bmh binding to the Adr1 regulatory domain inhibits an Adr1 activation domain but not a heterologous activation domain or artificially recruited Mediator, consistent with Bmh acting at a step in transcription downstream of activator binding. Bmh inhibits the assembly and the function of a preinitiation complex (PIC). Gene expression studies suggest that Bmh regulates Adr1 activity through the coactivators Mediator and Swi/Snf. Mediator recruitment appeared to occur normally but PIC formation and function were defective, suggesting that Bmh inhibits a step between Mediator recruitment and PIC activation.