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The complete sequences of the yeast a mating-type locus, MATa, and of the silent alpha cassette, HML alpha, have been determined. A segment of 642 nucleotides is unique to MATa, and a corresponding segment of 747 nucleotides is unique to MAT alpha. The major mRNAs (a1, a2, alpha 1 and alpha 2) encoded by MATa and MAT alpha have been aligned with the DNA sequence. The a1 mRNA is encoded entirely within the a-specific DNA sequence. The a2 mRNA, which is transcribed divergently from a1 mRNA, is encoded in a region common to both Mata and Mat alpha. The alpha 1 and alpha 2 mRNAs are also transcribed divergently and have their 5' starts about 240 nucleotides apart within the alpha-specific sequence. The amino acid sequences of the MAT proteins have been predicted from the DNA sequences. An unanticipated conclusion is that the a1 protein, containing 148 amino acids, results from readthrough of a UGA at codon 45. Polymorphic forms of the homologous outer segments of the HML alpha, MAT alpha, MATa and HMRa sequences suggest that the boundaries of the segments involved in mating-type switching are immediately adjacent to the a-specific and alpha-specific sequences.


Journal article



Publication Date





15 - 23


Base Sequence, Biological Evolution, DNA, Fungal, Fungal Proteins, Genes, Reproduction, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Transcription, Genetic