1. Genetics and Genomics
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Simultaneous quantification of mRNA and protein in single cells reveals post-transcriptional effects of genetic variation

  1. Christian Brion
  2. Sheila M Lutz
  3. Frank Wolfgang Albert  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Minnesota, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e60645 doi: 10.7554/eLife.60645

Abstract

Trans-acting DNA variants may specifically affect mRNA or protein levels of genes located throughout the genome. However, prior work compared trans-acting loci mapped in separate studies, many of which had limited statistical power. Here, we developed a CRISPR-based system for simultaneous quantification of mRNA and protein of a given gene via dual fluorescent reporters in single, live cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In large populations of recombinant cells from a cross between two genetically divergent strains, we mapped 86 trans-acting loci affecting the expression of ten genes. Less than 20% of these loci had concordant effects on mRNA and protein of the same gene. Most loci influenced protein but not mRNA of a given gene. One locus harbored a premature stop variant in the YAK1 kinase gene that had specific effects on protein or mRNA of dozens of genes. These results demonstrate complex, post-transcriptional genetic effects on gene expression.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Christian Brion

    Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Sheila M Lutz

    Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6729-4598
  3. Frank Wolfgang Albert

    Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States
    For correspondence
    falbert@umn.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1380-8063

Funding

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R35-GM124676)

  • Frank Wolfgang Albert

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (FG-2018- 10408)

  • Frank Wolfgang Albert

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Patricia J Wittkopp, University of Michigan, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: July 2, 2020
  2. Accepted: November 14, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 16, 2020 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2020, Brion et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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