In some strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the induction of enzymes of the Leloir pathway, galactose fermentation and growth on galactose depend on mitochondrial function; mitochondrial dependence is elicited through the recessive allele imp1 of the nuclear gene IMP1. The genetic element IMP1 is not allelic to any of the known GAL genes; IMP1 strains can grow on and ferment galactose in respiratory-deficient (RD) condition or in the presence of the mitochondrial inhibitors ethidium bromide and erythromycin; whereas, imp1 strains can grow on and ferment galactose only in respiratory-sufficient (RS) condition. The imp1 elicited mitochondrial dependence apparently involves regulation of the synthesis of the galactose catabolizing enzymes and synthesis of the galactose specific permease. IMP1 is not the only genetic determinant that elicits an interaction of the mitochondrion and the expression of the Gal system; the GAL3 gene, whose role in galactose utilization is demonstrated by the long-term adaptation phenotype of gal3 rS mutants, gives rise to a noninducible phenotype in RD condition or in the presence of mitochondrial inhibitors.
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