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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Stress-induced nuclear RNA degradation pathways regulate yeast bromodomain factor 2 to promote cell survival.

  • Author(s): Roy, Kevin
  • Chanfreau, Guillaume
  • et al.

Bromodomain proteins are key regulators of gene expression. How the levels of these factors are regulated in specific environmental conditions is unknown. Previous work has established that expression of yeast Bromodomain factor 2 (BDF2) is limited by spliceosome-mediated decay (SMD). Here we show that BDF2 is subject to an additional layer of post-transcriptional control through RNase III-mediated decay (RMD). We found that the yeast RNase III Rnt1p cleaves a stem-loop structure within the BDF2 mRNA to down-regulate its expression. However, these two nuclear RNA degradation pathways play distinct roles in the regulation of BDF2 expression, as we show that the RMD and SMD pathways of the BDF2 mRNA are differentially activated or repressed in specific environmental conditions. RMD is hyper-activated by salt stress and repressed by hydroxyurea-induced DNA damage while SMD is inactivated by salt stress and predominates during DNA damage. Mutations of cis-acting signals that control SMD and RMD rescue numerous growth defects of cells lacking Bdf1p, and show that SMD plays an important role in the DNA damage response. These results demonstrate that specific environmental conditions modulate nuclear RNA degradation pathways to control BDF2 expression and Bdf2p-mediated gene regulation. Moreover, these results show that precise dosage of Bromodomain factors is essential for cell survival in specific environmental conditions, emphasizing their importance for controlling chromatin structure and gene expression in response to environmental stress.

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