Ste12 and Mcm1 regulate cell cycle-dependent transcription of FAR1.
The transcripts of many genes involved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating were found to fluctuate during the cell cycle. In the absence of a functional Ste12 transcription factor, both the levels and the cell cycle pattern of expression of these genes were affected. FUS1 and AGA1 levels, which are maximally expressed only in G1-phase cells, were strongly reduced in ste12- cells. The cell cycle transcription pattern for FAR1 was changed in ste12- cells: the gene was still significantly expressed in G2/M, but transcript levels were strongly reduced in G1 phase, resulting in a lack of Far1 protein accumulation. G2/M transcription of FAR1 was dependent on the transcription factor Mcm1, and expression of a gene with Mcm1 fused to a strong transcriptional activation domain resulted in increased levels of FAR1 transcription. The pattern of cell cycle-regulated transcription of FAR1 could involve combinatorial control of Ste12 and Mcm1. Forced G1 expression of FAR1 from the GAL1 promoter resorted the ability to arrest in response to pheromone in ste12-cells. This indicates that transcription of FAR1 in the G1 phase is essential for accumulation of the protein and for pheromone-induced cell cycle arrest.