3 years ago

Zap1-dependent transcription from an alternative upstream promoter controls translation of RTC4 mRNA in zinc-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Zap1-dependent transcription from an alternative upstream promoter controls translation of RTC4 mRNA in zinc-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae
David J. Eide, Colin W. MacDiarmid, Janet Taggart, Spencer Haws
Maintaining zinc homeostasis is an important property of all organisms. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Zap1 transcriptional activator is a central player in this process. In response to zinc deficiency, Zap1 activates transcription of many genes and consequently increases accumulation of their encoded proteins. In this report, we describe a new mechanism of Zap1-mediated regulation whereby increased transcription of certain target genes results in reduced protein expression. Transcription of the Zap1-responsive genes RTC4 and RAD27 increases markedly in zinc-deficient cells but, surprisingly, their protein levels decrease. We examined the underlying mechanism further for RTC4 and found that this unusual regulation results from altered transcription start site selection. In zinc-replete cells, RTC4 transcription begins near the protein-coding region and the resulting short transcript leader allows for efficient translation. In zinc-deficient cells, RTC4 RNA with longer transcript leaders are expressed that are not efficiently translated due to the presence of multiple small open reading frames upstream of the coding region. This regulation requires a potential Zap1 binding site located farther upstream of the promoter. Thus, we present evidence for a new mechanism of Zap1-mediated gene regulation and another way that this activator protein can repress protein expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Where transcription begins in a gene's promoter can have a major impact on the expression of its protein product. In this report, we show that zinc deficiency in Saccharomyces cerevisiae causes a shift in transcription initiation from a site close to the RTC4 gene to a more distal location. The longer mRNA produced in zinc-deficient cells contains multiple upstream open reading frames in their 5' transcript leaders that repress translation.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/mmi.13851

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