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Inositol regulates transcription of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes required for de novo synthesis of acylCoAs and phospholipids. Removal of inositol results in transcriptional activation by heterodimeric complexes of two bHLH proteins, Ino2p and Ino4p. In the presence of inositol, transcription is repressed by Opi1p. MyristoylCoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase (Nmt1p) is an essential enzyme whose activity is influenced by cellular myristoylCoA pool size and availability. nmt451Dp contains a Gly451-->Asp substitution that produces temperature-dependent reductions in affinity for myristoylCoA and associated reductions in acylation of cellular N-myristoylproteins. The conditional lethality produced by nmt1-451D is rescued at temperatures up to 33 degreesC by withdrawal of inositol. We tested the hypothesis that N-myristoylproteins function to regulate INO2, INO4 and/or OPI1 transcription, thereby affecting the expression of inositol-sensitive genes that influence myristoylCoA metabolism. The effect of nmt1-451D on INO2 , INO4 and OPI1 promoter activities was examined by introducing episomes, containing their 5' non-transcribed domains linked to reporters, into isogenic NMT1 and nmt1-451D cells. The activity of INO2 is significantly higher, INO4 significantly lower and OPI1 unaffected in nmt1-451D cells, both in the presence and absence of inositol. These changes are associated with a net increase in expression of some inositol target genes, including FAS1 . FAS1 encodes one of the subunits of the fatty acid synthase complex that catalyzes de novo acylCoA (including myristoylCoA) biosynthesis. Augmented expression of FAS1 overcomes the kinetic defects in nmt451Dp. FAS1 expression is Ino2p-dependent in NMT1 cells at 24-33 degreesC. In contrast, FAS1 expression becomes Ino2p-independent in nmt1-451D cells at temperatures where efficient acylation of cellular N-myristoylproteins is jeopardized. The ability to maintain expression of FAS1 in nmt1-451Dino2 Delta cells suggests the existence of another transcription factor, or factors, whose expression/activity is inversely related to overall levels of cellular protein N-myristoy-lation. This factor is not functionally identical to Ino2p since other inositol-responsive genes (e.g. CHO1 ) maintain INO2 -dependent expression in nmt1-451D cells.