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Molecular Biology of the Cell

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The Skn7 response regulator has previously been shown to play a role in the induction of stress-responsive genes in yeast, e.g., in the induction of the thioredoxin gene in response to hydrogen peroxide. The yeast Heat Shock Factor, Hsf1, is central to the induction of another set of stress-inducible genes, namely the heat shock genes. These two regulatory trans-activators, Hsf1 and Skn7, share certain structural homologies, particularly in their DNA-binding domains and the presence of adjacent regions of coiled-coil structure, which are known to mediate protein–protein interactions. Here, we provide evidence that Hsf1 and Skn7 interact in vitro and in vivo and we show that Skn7 can bind to the same regulatory sequences as Hsf1, namely heat shock elements. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a strain deleted for the SKN7 gene and containing a temperature-sensitive mutation in Hsf1 is hypersensitive to oxidative stress. Our data suggest that Skn7 and Hsf1 cooperate to achieve maximal induction of heat shock genes in response specifically to oxidative stress. We further show that, like Hsf1, Skn7 can interact with itself and is localized to the nucleus under normal growth conditions as well as during oxidative stress.


Originally published by The American Society for Cell Biology in Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2000, Volume 11, Issue 7. DOI:

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