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Mol. Cell. Biol. 23 (2): 629-635

Copyright © 2003 by the American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

The Tor Pathway Regulates Gene Expression by Linking Nutrient Sensing to Histone Acetylation

John R. Rohde and Maria E. Cardenas*

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710

Received for publication 6 September 2002. Revision received 22 October 2002. Accepted for publication 25 October 2002.

Abstract: The Tor pathway mediates cell growth in response to nutrient availability, in part by inducing ribosomal protein (RP) gene expression via an unknown mechanism. Expression of RP genes coincides with recruitment of the Esa1 histone acetylase to RP gene promoters. We show that inhibition of Tor with rapamycin releases Esa1 from RP gene promoters and leads to histone H4 deacetylation without affecting promoter occupancy by Rap1 and Abf1. Genetic and biochemical evidence identifies Rpd3 as the major histone deacetylase responsible for reversing histone H4 acetylation at RP gene promoters in response to Tor inhibition by rapamycin or nutrient limitation. Our results illustrate that the Tor pathway links nutrient sensing with histone acetylation to control RP gene expression and cell growth.

* Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, 322 CARL Bldg., Box 3546, Research Dr., Durham, NC 27710. Phone: (919) 684-2809. Fax: (919) 684-5458. E-mail: carde004{at}

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