Mxr1p, a Key Regulator of the Methanol Utilization Pathway and Peroxisomal Genes in Pichia pastoris
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Growth of the yeast Pichia pastoris on methanol induces the expression of genes whose products are required for its metabolism. Three of the methanol pathway enzymes are located in an organelle called the peroxisome. As a result, both methanol pathway enzymes and proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis (PEX proteins) are induced in response to this substrate. The most highly regulated of these genes is AOX1, which encodes alcohol oxidase, the first enzyme of the methanol pathway, and a peroxisomal enzyme. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for methanol regulation, we identify genes required for the expression of AOX1. Mutations in one gene, named MXR1 (methanol expression regulator 1), result in strains that are unable to (i) grow on the peroxisomal substrates methanol and oleic acid, (ii) induce the transcription of AOX1 and other methanol pathway and PEX genes, and (iii) form normal-appearing peroxisomes in response to methanol. MXR1 encodes a large protein with a zinc finger DNA-binding domain near its N terminus that has similarity to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Adr1p. In addition, Mxr1p is localized to the nucleus in cells grown on methanol or other gluconeogenic substrates. Finally, Mxr1p specifically binds to sequences upstream of AOX1. We conclude that Mxr1p is a transcription factor that is necessary for the activation of many genes in response to methanol. We propose that MXR1 is the P. pastoris homologue of S. cerevisiae ADR1 but that it has gained new functions and lost others through evolution as a result of changes in the spectrum of genes that it controls.
Lin-Cereghino, G. P.,
de la Cruz, B. J.,
Mxr1p, a Key Regulator of the Methanol Utilization Pathway and Peroxisomal Genes in Pichia pastoris.
Molecular and Cellular Biology, 26(3), 883–897.