The galactose analogue 2-deoxygalactose was found to inhibit the growth of a mutant strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae constitutively producing the set of galactose utilization enzymes. Based on this fact, the yeast GAL80 gene negatively regulating the expression of the genes encoding those enzymes was isolated for its ability to confer 2-deoxygalactose resistance on a strain carrying a recessive mutation in that gene. The GAL80 gene was located within a 3.0 kb fragment in the cloned DNA. When the isolated gene was incorporated into a multi-copy plasmid, the induced level of three enzymes encoded by the gene cluster GAL7-GAL10-GAL1 in the host chromosome was lowered. Such a gene dosage effect of GAL80 was further pronounced if sucrose, a sugar causing catabolite repression, was added to the growth medium. The ratio of the enzyme activity of the yeast bearing multiple copies of GAL80 to that of the yeast bearing its single copy significantly varied with the enzyme. From these results we suggest that the intracellular inducer interacts with the GAL80 product and that GAL80 molecules directly bind the GAL cluster genes with an affinity different from one gene to another.
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