YAP4, a member of the yeast activator protein (YAP) gene family, is induced in response to osmotic shock in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The null mutant displays mild and moderate growth sensitivity at 0.4 M and 0.8 M NaCl respectively, a fact that led us to analyse YAP4 mRNA levels in the hog1 (high osmolarity glycerol) mutant. The data obtained show a complete abolition of YAP4 gene expression in this mutant, placing YAP4 under the HOG response pathway. YAP4 overexpression not only suppresses the osmosensitivity phenotype of the yap4 mutant but also relieves that of the hog1 mutant. Induction, under the conditions tested so far, requires the presence of the transcription factor Msn2p, but not of Msn4p, as YAP4 mRNA levels are depleted by at least 75% in the msn2 mutant. This result was further substantiated by the fact that full YAP4 induction requires the two more proximal stress response elements. Furthermore we find that GCY1, encoding a putative glycerol dehydrogenase, GPP2, encoding a NAD-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatase, and DCS2, a homologue to a decapping enzyme, have decreased mRNA levels in the yap4-deleted strain. Our data point to a possible, as yet not entirely understood, role of the YAP4 in osmotic stress response.

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