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Gene Review

RTG3  -  Rtg3p

Saccharomyces cerevisiae S288c

Synonyms: Retrograde regulation protein 3, YBL0810, YBL103C
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Disease relevance of RTG3

  • These genes include approximately 60 elements that could be linked to the reported phenotypes of the bmhDelta mutant (e.g., accumulation of glycogen and hypersensitivity to environmental stress) and/or could be the potential downstream targets of interacting partners of Bmh1/2p such as Msn2p and Rtg3p [1].

High impact information on RTG3

  • Remarkably, nuclear accumulation of Rtg1/Rtg3, as well as expression of their target genes, is induced by addition of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinases [2].
  • We demonstrate further that Rtg3 is a phosphoprotein and that its phosphorylation state changes after rapamycin treatment [2].
  • Expression of these genes in media containing urea or ammonia as a sole nitrogen source requires the heterodimeric bZip transcription factors Rtg1 and Rtg3 and correlates with a redistribution of the Rtg1p/Rtg3 complex from a predominantly cytoplasmic to a predominantly nuclear location [2].
  • MSX-induced glutamine starvation caused nuclear localization and activation of the TOR-inhibited transcription factors GLN3, RTG1, and RTG3, all of which mediate glutamine synthesis [3].
  • Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of RTG3, a gene encoding a 54-kDa bHLH/Zip protein that is also required for CIT2 expression [4].

Biological context of RTG3

  • Recessive mutations in SIN4 and RTG3 can suppress the temperature-sensitive phenotype of this mutant [5].
  • The R box is a binding site for Rtg1p-Rtg3p, a heterodimeric, basic helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper transcription factor complex [6].
  • Our data show that Rtg1p acts as both a positive and negative regulator of the retrograde response and that Rtg2p acts to transduce mitochondrial signals affecting the phosphorylation state and subcellular localization of Rtg3p [7].
  • Two unresolved discrepancies exist with regard to the mechanism of RTG target gene control: (1) deletion of MKS1 results in constitutive expression of RTG target genes in most but not all strain backgrounds; and (2) RTG target gene expression has been correlated with both decreased as well as increased Rtg3p phosphorylation [8].
  • We have also identified a serine/threonine-rich domain of Rtg3p within amino acids 176-282 that is inhibitory to transactivation [9].

Anatomical context of RTG3


Associations of RTG3 with chemical compounds

  • Our data show that the yeast 14-3-3 proteins negatively regulate Rtg3-dependent transcription, stimulate the transcription of genes involved in ergosterol metabolism and in stress response and are involved in transcription regulation of multiple other genes [11].
  • The TOR-controlled transcription activators GLN3, RTG1, and RTG3 are regulated in response to intracellular levels of glutamine [3].
  • Mechanism of metabolic control. Target of rapamycin signaling links nitrogen quality to the activity of the Rtg1 and Rtg3 transcription factors [2].
  • The heterodimeric bZip/HLH transcription factors Rtg1p and Rtg3p regulate the expression of a concise set of metabolic genes (termed RTG target genes) required for de novo biosynthesis of glutamate and glutamine [12].

Physical interactions of RTG3

  • TOR acts in part by regulating the subcellular localization of the Rtg1/Rtg3 transcription factor complex [13].
  • Here we show that fusion constructs between the Gal4p DNA binding domain and Rtg3p transactivate the expression of a LacZ reporter gene under the control of a GAL1 promoter element [9].

Other interactions of RTG3

  • Rtg2p regulates transcription of glutamate-repressible genes by facilitation of the nuclear entry of the Rtg1 and Rtg3 proteins [14].
  • Rtg2p, which is cytoplasmic in both rho(+) and rho(o) cells, is required for the dephosphorylation and nuclear localization of Rtg3p [7].
  • First, we demonstrate that the mks1 deletion strain used in a previous study by Shamji and coworkers contains a nonsense mutation within codon Ser 231 in RTG3 that likely accounts for the inactivity of the RTG system in this strain [8].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of RTG3

  • Furthermore, deletion of RTG3, a downstream mediator in this pathway, and caloric restriction had an additive effect, resulting in the largest increase (123%) in longevity described thus far in yeast [15].


  1. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of a 14-3-3 gene-deficient yeast. Ichimura, T., Kubota, H., Goma, T., Mizushima, N., Ohsumi, Y., Iwago, M., Kakiuchi, K., Shekhar, H.U., Shinkawa, T., Taoka, M., Ito, T., Isobe, T. Biochemistry (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Mechanism of metabolic control. Target of rapamycin signaling links nitrogen quality to the activity of the Rtg1 and Rtg3 transcription factors. Komeili, A., Wedaman, K.P., O'Shea, E.K., Powers, T. J. Cell Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. The TOR-controlled transcription activators GLN3, RTG1, and RTG3 are regulated in response to intracellular levels of glutamine. Crespo, J.L., Powers, T., Fowler, B., Hall, M.N. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2002) [Pubmed]
  4. A basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper transcription complex in yeast functions in a signaling pathway from mitochondria to the nucleus. Jia, Y., Rothermel, B., Thornton, J., Butow, R.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. 14-3-3 Proteins are essential for regulation of RTG3-dependent transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. van Heusden, G.P., Steensma, H.Y. Yeast (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. A transcriptional switch in the expression of yeast tricarboxylic acid cycle genes in response to a reduction or loss of respiratory function. Liu, Z., Butow, R.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Mitochondria-to-nuclear signaling is regulated by the subcellular localization of the transcription factors Rtg1p and Rtg3p. Sekito, T., Thornton, J., Butow, R.A. Mol. Biol. Cell (2000) [Pubmed]
  8. Accounting for strain-specific differences during RTG target gene regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Dilova, I., Powers, T. FEMS Yeast Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Rtg3p, a basic helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper protein that functions in mitochondrial-induced changes in gene expression, contains independent activation domains. Rothermel, B.A., Thornton, J.L., Butow, R.A. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. The retrograde response links metabolism with stress responses, chromatin-dependent gene activation, and genome stability in yeast aging. Jazwinski, S.M. Gene (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. Regulation of transcription by Saccharomyces cerevisiae 14-3-3 proteins. Bruckmann, A., Steensma, H.Y., Teixeira De Mattos, M.J., Van Heusden, G.P. Biochem. J. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Tor signaling and nutrient-based signals converge on Mks1p phosphorylation to regulate expression of Rtg1.Rtg3p-dependent target genes. Dilova, I., Aronova, S., Chen, J.C., Powers, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  13. Mks1 in concert with TOR signaling negatively regulates RTG target gene expression in S. cerevisiae. Dilova, I., Chen, C.Y., Powers, T. Curr. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  14. A novel Rtg2p activity regulates nitrogen catabolism in yeast. Pierce, M.M., Maddelein, M.L., Roberts, B.T., Wickner, R.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  15. An intervention resembling caloric restriction prolongs life span and retards aging in yeast. Jiang, J.C., Jaruga, E., Repnevskaya, M.V., Jazwinski, S.M. FASEB J. (2000) [Pubmed]
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