Three different regulatory mechanisms enable yeast hexose transporter (HXT) genes to be induced by different levels of glucose

Sabire Özcan, Mark Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


The HXT genes (HXT1 to HXT4) of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae encode hexose transporters. We found that transcription of these genes is induced 10- to 300-fold by glucose. Analysis of glucose induction of HXT gene expression revealed three types of regulation: (i) induction by glucose independent of sugar concentration (HXT3); (ii) induction by low levels of glucose and repression at high glucose concentrations (HXT2 and HXT4); and (iii) induction only at high glucose concentrations (HXT1). The lack of expression of all four HXT genes in the absence of glucose is due to a repression mechanism that requires Rgt1p and Ssn6p. GRR1 seems to encode a positive regulator of HXT expression, since grr1 mutants are defective in glucose induction of all four HXT genes. Mutations in RGT1 suppress the defect in HXT expression caused bygrr1 mutations, leading us to propose that glucose induces HXT expression by activating Grr1p, which inhibits the function of the Rgt1p repressor. HXT1 expression is also induced by high glucose levels through another regulatory mechanism: rgt1 mutants still require high levels of glucose for maximal induction of HXT1 expression. The lack of induction of HXT2 and HXT4 expression on high levels of glucose is due to glucose repression: these genes become induced at high glucose concentrations in glucose repression mutants (hxk2, reg1, ssn6, tup1, or mig1). Components of the glucose repression pathway (Hxk2p and Reg1p) are also required for generation of the high-level glucose induction signal for expression of the HXT1 gene. Thus, the glucose repression and glucose induction mechanisms share some of the same components and may share the same primary signal generated from glucose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1564-1572
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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