Gametogenesis requires packaging of the cellular components needed for the next generation. In budding yeast, this process includes degradation of many mitotically stable proteins, followed by their resynthesis. Here, we show that one such case—Superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1), a protein that commonly aggregates in human ALS patients—is regulated by an integrated set of events, beginning with the formation of pre-meiotic Sod1 aggregates. This is followed by degradation of a subset of the prior Sod1 pool and clearance of Sod1 aggregates. As degradation progresses, Sod1 protein production is transiently blocked during mid-meiotic stages by transcription of an extended and poorly translated SOD1 mRNA isoform, SOD1LUTI. Expression of SOD1LUTI is induced by the Unfolded Protein Response, and it acts to repress canonical SOD1 mRNA expression. SOD1LUTI is no longer expressed following the meiotic divisions, enabling a resurgence of canonical mRNA and synthesis of new Sod1 protein such that gametes inherit a full complement of Sod1 protein. Failure to aggregate and degrade Sod1 results in reduced gamete fitness in the presence of oxidants, highlighting the importance of this regulation. Investigation of Sod1 during yeast gametogenesis, an unusual cellular context in which Sod1 levels are tightly regulated, could shed light on conserved aspects of its aggregation and degradation, with relevance to understanding Sod1’s role in human disease.

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