Kdx1 is known as a stress-responsive protein. To better understand the function of Kdx1, we performed microarray analysis in KDX1 overexpressing cells and found that the overexpression of KDX1 dramatically induced the expression of RCK1, a stress-responsive gene. This result was confirmed by northern blot analysis. Furthermore, the overexpression of RCK1 partially rescued the growth defect caused by zymolyase stress. The expression of RCK1 was regulated independently by Slt2 and Hog1, and Kdx1 failed to induce the expression of RCK1 in a HOG1 deletion strain. The transcriptional factors Smp1, Sko1, Msn2, Msn4, and Hot1, which are regulated by Hog1, did not affect RCK1 expression, but Rlm1 did. Furthermore, the mutation of certain phosphorylation sites in RLM1 inhibited the induction of RCK1 expression by Kdx1. We found a conserved Rlm1 binding site in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of RCK1, and the mutation of these Rlm1 binding sites also inhibited the induction of RCK1 expression by Kdx1. Finally, we showed that Kdx1 physically interacts with Rlm1 and that this interaction affects the ability of Rlm1 to bind to the RCK1 5' UTR. Taken together, these data suggest that Kdx1 interacts with Rlm1 to activate RCK1 gene expression in response to stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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