Treatment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells with copper induces the activity of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase. To understand the level at which Cu regulates catalase, the expression of the S. cerevisiae CTA1 (encoding the peroxisomal catalase A) and CTT1 (encoding the cytosolic catalase T) genes was monitored as a function of Cu treatment. Copper was found to specifically induce transcription of CTT1, but not CTA1, mRNA. Moreover, genetic and biochemical studies demonstrate that this induction is independent of the ACE1 Cu trans-activator controlling the expression of yeast Cu/Zn SOD and metallothionein genes. Copper regulation of CTT1 thus appears to represent a novel metal regulatory pathway in S. cerevisiae cells.
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