5 years ago

Yeast Terminator Function Can Be Modulated and Designed on the Basis of Predictions of Nucleosome Occupancy

Yeast Terminator Function Can Be Modulated and Designed on the Basis of Predictions of Nucleosome Occupancy
Nicholas J. Morse, Hal S. Alper, James M. Wagner, Madan R. Gopal
The design of improved synthetic parts is a major goal of synthetic biology. Mechanistically, nucleosome occupancy in the 3′ terminator region of a gene has been found to correlate with transcriptional expression. Here, we seek to establish a predictive relationship between terminator function and predicted nucleosome positioning to design synthetic terminators in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In doing so, terminators improved net protein output from these expression cassettes nearly 4-fold over their original sequence with observed increases in termination efficiency to 96%. The resulting terminators were indeed depleted of nucleosomes on the basis of mapping experiments. This approach was successfully applied to synthetic, de novo, and native terminators. The mode of action of these modifications was mainly through increased termination efficiency, rather than half-life increases, perhaps suggesting a role in improved mRNA maturation. Collectively, these results suggest that predicted nucleosome depletion can be used as a heuristic approach for improving terminator function, though the underlying mechanism remains to be shown.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.7b00138

DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00138

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