The IRA1 gene is a negative regulator of the RAS-cyclic AMP pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To identify other genes involved in this pathway, we screened yeast genomic DNA libraries for genes that can suppress the heat shock sensitivity of the ira1 mutation on a multicopy vector. We identified IRA2, encoding a protein of 3,079 amino acids, that is 45% identical to the IRA1 protein. The region homologous between the IRA1 protein and ras GTPase-activating protein is also conserved in IRA2. IRA2 maps 11 centimorgans distal to the arg1 locus on the left arm of chromosome XV and was found to be allelic to glc4. Disruption of the IRA2 gene resulted in (i) increased sensitivity to heat shock and nitrogen starvation, (ii) sporulation defects, and (iii) suppression of the lethality of the cdc25 mutant. Analysis of disruption mutants of IRA1 and IRA2 indicated that IRA1 and IRA2 proteins additively regulate the RAS-cyclic AMP pathway in a negative fashion. Expression of the IRA2 domain homologous with GAP is sufficient for complementation of the heat shock sensitivity of ira2, suggesting that IRA down regulates RAS activity by stimulating the GTPase activity of RAS proteins.
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