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Dynamics of Nitrogen-regulated Gene Expression Reveals a Reciprocal Relationship between Cell Growth Rate and Nitrogen Catabolism

ABSTRACT: Cell growth rate is regulated in response to resource availability including the abundance, and molecular form, of essential nutrients. In the model eukaryotic cell, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast), the molecular form of environmental nitrogen impacts both cell growth rate and mRNA expression. Disentangling causal relationships between nitrogen availability, cell growth rate and differential gene expression poses a considerable challenge. Using experimental control of cell growth rate using chemostats, we studied the effect of variation in environmental nitrogen on differential gene expression. We find that the primary determinant of nitrogen-regulated gene expression is nitrogen abundance whereas variation in nitrogen source affects the expression of only a small number of transcripts with highly specialized functions. To study the dynamics of nitrogen-responsive gene expression we perturbed steady-state nitrogen-limited chemostat cultures by addition of either proline or glutamine. Addition of either proline or glutamine to cells growing in nitrogen-limited chemostats results in repression of the nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR) regulon consistent with nitrogen abundance, and not nitrogen source, being the primary determinant of nitrogen-regulated gene expression. We find that a transition from nitrogen-limited to nitrogen-replete conditions is accompanied by rapid induction of transcripts required for protein translation. We identified a reciprocal relationship between specific regulons required for protein translation (RP and RiBi) and the NCR regulon. Using mathematical modeling we find evidence that cells adopt a metabolically inefficient growth mode during this transition. By means of high resolution time series analysis we find evidence that rapid, and potentially accelerated, mRNA degradation plays an important role in remodeling gene expression programs in response to change in environmental nitrogen. We propose that the evolutionarily conserved TORC1 signaling pathway orchestrates the balance between protein translation and assimilation of nitrogen sources at the transcriptional level to optimize rates of cell proliferation. A total of of 102 samples were analyzed in different nitrogen-limited conditions using chemostats in both steady-state and dynamic conditions. A common reference obtained from an ammonium-limited chemostat growing at a dilution rate of 0.12/hr was used for all two color hybridization experiments.

ORGANISM(S): Saccharomyces cerevisiae  

SUBMITTER: David Gresham  

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-57293 | ArrayExpress | 2014-05-05



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