RNA methylation by the MIS complex regulates a cell fate decision in yeast.
ABSTRACT: For the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nutrient limitation is a key developmental signal causing diploid cells to switch from yeast-form budding to either foraging pseudohyphal (PH) growth or meiosis and sporulation. Prolonged starvation leads to lineage restriction, such that cells exiting meiotic prophase are committed to complete sporulation even if nutrients are restored. Here, we have identified an earlier commitment point in the starvation program. After this point, cells, returned to nutrient-rich medium, entered a form of synchronous PH development that was morphologically and genetically indistinguishable from starvation-induced PH growth. We show that lineage restriction during this time was, in part, dependent on the mRNA methyltransferase activity of Ime4, which played separable roles in meiotic induction and suppression of the PH program. Normal levels of meiotic mRNA methylation required the catalytic domain of Ime4, as well as two meiotic proteins, Mum2 and Slz1, which interacted and co-immunoprecipitated with Ime4. This MIS complex (Mum2, Ime4, and Slz1) functioned in both starvation pathways. Together, our results support the notion that the yeast starvation response is an extended process that progressively restricts cell fate and reveal a broad role of post-transcriptional RNA methylation in these decisions.
Project description:In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, genetic studies suggest that the RIM1 gene encodes a positive regulator of meiosis. rim1 mutations cause reduced expression of IME1, which is required for expression of many meiotic genes, and thus lead to a partial defect in meiosis and spore formation. We report the sequence of RIM1 and functional analysis of its coding region. The RIM1 gene product (RIM1) contains three regions similar to C2H2 zinc fingers. Serine substitutions for cysteine in each of the putative zinc fingers abolish RIM1 function. The carboxyl-terminus of RIM1 is enriched in acidic amino acids and is required for full RIM1 activity. RIM1 also contains two putative cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAPK) phosphorylation sites. At one site, substitution of alanine for serine does not affect RIM1 activity; at the other site, this substitution impairs activity. This analysis of RIM1 suggests that the protein may function as a transcriptional activator. We have used the cloned RIM1 gene to create a complete rim1 deletion. This null allele, like previously isolated rim1 mutations, causes a partial meiotic defect. In addition to RIM1, maximum IME1 expression requires the MCK1 and IME4 gene products. Defects associated with rim1, mck1, and ime4 mutations in expression of a meiotic reporter gene (ime2-lacZ) and in sporulation are additive. These findings suggest that RIM1 acts independently of MCK1 and IME4 to stimulate IME1 expression.
Project description:Yeast cells enter and undergo gametogenesis relatively asynchronously, making it technically challenging to perform stage-specific genomic and biochemical analyses. Cell-to-cell variation in the expression of the master regulator of entry into sporulation IME1, has been implicated to be the underlying cause of asynchronous sporulation. Here we find that timing of IME1 expression is of critical importance for inducing cells to undergo sporulation synchronously. When we force expression of IME1 from an inducible promoter in cells incubated in sporulation medium for two hours, the vast majority of cells exhibit synchrony during pre-meiotic DNA replication and meiotic divisions. Inducing IME1 expression too early or too late affects the synchrony of sporulation. Surprisingly, our approach for synchronous sporulation does not require growth in acetate containing medium, but can be achieved in cells grown in rich medium until saturation. Our system solely requires IME1 because the expression of the N6-methyladenosine methyltransferase IME4, another key regulator of early sporulation, is controlled by IME1 itself. The approach described here can be easily combined with other stage specific synchronization methods, and thereby applied to study specific stages of sporulation or the complete sporulation program.
Project description:Inactivation of the yeast IME4 gene, the yeast homologue of METTL3, was shown to result in the loss of m6A in mRNA of mutant cells grown in sporulation medium. We attempted to characterize the effects of ime4 deletion on gene expression under vegetative and meiosis-inducing conditions. The results show that in vegetatively-growing ime4-/- cells there is an increased expression of the RME1 gene (repressor of meiosis) which prevents precocious entry into the meiotic program. Mutant yeast cells showed reduced expression levels of genes involved in ribosome biogenesis and gene expression processes. Surprisingly, despite the fact that a diploid strain was analyzed, there was also a striking change in the expression level of haploid-specific genes, suggesting that RNA methylation may be used to enforce the sexual identity of diploid cells, required for the implementation of the gametogenesis program. Consistently, when cells were induced to undergo meiosis, ime4-/- diploids failed to undergo the meiotic divisions. Among the genes showing reduced expression in the mutant were IME1 and IME2, the two known inducers of meiosis. Thus, the yeast IME4 gene plays an important role in the regulation of the developmental switch from vegetative cells into gametogenesis. WT and ime4 -/- yeast cells were grown vegetatively in YPD (Yeast extract, Peptone, Dextrose) medium, and transferred to sporulation medium(1% Kacetate) for induction of sporulation for 4 hrs. RNA was purified from the cells and hybridized to Affymetrix microarrays. Experiments were conducted in biological replicates.
Project description:The cell-fate decision leading to gametogenesis is essential for sexual reproduction. In S. cerevisiae, only diploid MATa/? but not haploid MATa or MAT? cells undergo gametogenesis, known as sporulation. We find that transcription of two long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) mediates mating-type control of sporulation. In MATa or MAT? haploids, expression of IME1, the central inducer of gametogenesis, is inhibited in cis by transcription of the lncRNA IRT1, located in the IME1 promoter. IRT1 transcription recruits the Set2 histone methyltransferase and the Set3 histone deacetylase complex to establish repressive chromatin at the IME1 promoter. Inhibiting expression of IRT1 and an antisense transcript that antagonizes the expression of the meiotic regulator IME4 allows cells expressing the haploid mating type to sporulate with kinetics that are indistinguishable from that of MATa/? diploids. Conversely, expression of the two lncRNAs abolishes sporulation in MATa/? diploids. Thus, transcription of two lncRNAs governs mating-type control of gametogenesis in yeast.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is present at internal sites in mRNA isolated from all higher eukaryotes, but has not previously been detected in the mRNA of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This nucleoside modification occurs only in a sequence- specific context that appears to be conserved across diverse species. The function of this modification is not fully established, but there is some indirect evidence that m6A may play a role in the efficiency of mRNA splicing, transport or translation. The S.cerevisiae gene IME4, which is important for induction of sporulation, is very similar to the human gene MT-A70, which has been shown to be a critical subunit of the human mRNA [N6-adenosine]-methyltransferase. This observation led to the hypothesis that yeast sporulation may be dependent upon methylation of yeast mRNA, mediated by Ime4p. In this study we show that induction of sporulation leads to the appearance of low levels of m6A in yeast mRNA and that this modification requires IME4. Moreover, single amino acid substitutions in the putative catalytic residues of Ime4p lead to severe sporulation defects in a strain whose sporulation ability is completely dependent on this protein. Collectively, these data suggest very strongly that the activation of sporulation by Ime4p is the result of its proposed methyltransferase activity and provide the most direct evidence to date of a physiologic role of m6A in a gene regulatory pathway.
Project description:Quiescence and gametogenesis represent two distinct survival strategies in response to nutrient starvation in budding yeast. Precisely how environmental signals are sensed by yeast cells to trigger quiescence and gametogenesis is not fully understood. A conserved signalling module consisting of Greatwall kinase, Endosulfine and Protein Phosphatase PP2ACdc55 proteins regulates entry into mitosis in Xenopus egg extracts and meiotic maturation in flies. We report here that an analogous signalling module consisting of the serine-threonine kinase Rim15, the Endosulfines Igo1 and Igo2 and the Protein Phosphatase PP2ACdc55, regulates entry into both quiescence and gametogenesis in budding yeast. PP2ACdc55 inhibits entry into gametogenesis and quiescence. Rim15 promotes entry into gametogenesis and quiescence by converting Igo1 into an inhibitor of PP2ACdc55 by phosphorylating at a conserved serine residue. Moreover, we show that the Rim15-Endosulfine-PP2ACdc55 pathway regulates entry into quiescence and gametogenesis by distinct mechanisms. In addition, we show that Igo1 and Igo2 are required for pre-meiotic autophagy but the lack of pre-meiotic autophagy is insufficient to explain the sporulation defect of igo1? igo2? cells. We propose that the Rim15-Endosulfine-PP2ACdc55 signalling module triggers entry into quiescence and gametogenesis by regulating dephosphorylation of distinct substrates.
Project description:Calorie restriction is the only physiological intervention that extends lifespan throughout all kingdoms of life. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cytosolic pH (pHc ) controls growth and responds to nutrient availability, decreasing upon glucose depletion. We investigated the interactions between glucose availability, pHc and the central nutrient signalling cAMP-Protein Kinase A (PKA) pathway. Glucose abundance during the growth phase enhanced acidification upon glucose depletion, via modulation of PKA activity. This actively controlled reduction in starvation pHc correlated with reduced stationary phase survival. Whereas changes in PKA activity affected both acidification and survival, targeted manipulation of starvation pHc showed that cytosolic acidification was downstream of PKA and the causal agent of the reduced chronological lifespan. Thus, caloric restriction controls stationary phase survival through PKA and cytosolic pH.
Project description:We used pCUP1-IME1 pCUP1-IME4 strain to generate synchronized yeast meiotic culture and measure the RNA expression through meiotic progression Overall design: RNA expression in yeast meiosis timecourse
Project description:Despite the vast number of modification sites mapped within mRNAs, known examples of consequential mRNA modifications remain rare. Here, we provide multiple lines of evidence to show that Ime4p, an N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methyltransferase required for meiosis in yeast, acts by methylating a site in the 3' UTR of the mRNA encoding Rme1p, a transcriptional repressor of meiosis. Consistent with this mechanism, genetic analyses reveal that IME4 functions upstream of RME1. Transcriptome-wide, RME1 is the primary message that displays both increased methylation and reduced expression in an Ime4p-dependent manner. In yeast strains for which IME4 is dispensable for meiosis, a natural polymorphism in the RME1 promoter reduces RME1 transcription, obviating the requirement for methylation. Mutation of a single m6A site in the RME1 3' UTR increases Rme1p repressor production and reduces meiotic efficiency. These results reveal the molecular and physiological consequences of a modification in the 3' UTR of an mRNA.
Project description:Yeast Gis1 protein functions as a transcription factor after nutrient limitation and oxidative stress. In this report, we show that Gis1 also regulates the induction of several genes involved in spore wall synthesis during sporulation. Gis1 contains a JmjC domain near its N-terminus. In many proteins, JmjC domains provide histone demethylase activity. Whether the JmjC domain of Gis1 contributes to its transcriptional activation is still unknown. Here, we show that gis1 point mutations that abolish Fe (II) and ?-ketoglutarate binding, known cofactors in other JmjC proteins, are still able to induce transcription normally during glucose starvation and sporulation. Even the deletion of the entire JmjC domain does not affect transcriptional activation by Gis1. Moreover, the JmjC domain is not required for the toxicity associated with Gis1 overexpression. The data demonstrate that the JmjC domain is dispensable for transcriptional activation by Gis1 during nutrient stress and sporulation.