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HHO1 knockouts show no global increase or decrease in the amount of transcription in the cell; however, these same knockouts also show that Hho1p is important for the transcriptional regulation of individual genes in response to stimuli, such as starvation. The differential regulation of Hho1p by phosphorylation under vegetative growth and starvation conditions has been well studied. During vegetative growth, Hho1p is phosphorylated on five closely spaced residues, preventing it from interacting with chromatin, likely by interfering with its ability to bind DNA. Under these conditions, expression is increased for CDC2, a homolog of the cyclin dependent kinases responsible for histone H1 phosphorylation, possibly creating a positive feedback loop that promotes the cell cycle. During starvation conditions, Hho1p is dephosphorylated, allowing it to bind to chromatin. This stimulates the expression of some genes, including ngoA, and protease genes such as CYP1, while inhibiting expression of other genes, such as CDC2. This decrease in CDC2 expression may be responsible for cell cycle arrest during starvation.
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