In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) selects transcription start sites (TSS) by a unidirectional scanning process. During scanning, a preinitiation complex (PIC) assembled at an upstream core promoter initiates at select positions within a window ~40-120 basepairs downstream. Several lines of evidence indicate that Ssl2, the yeast homolog of XPB and an essential and conserved subunit of the general transcription factor (GTF) TFIIH, drives scanning through its DNA-dependent ATPase activity, therefore potentially controlling both scanning rate and scanning extent (processivity). To address questions of how Ssl2 functions in promoter scanning and interacts with other initiation activities, we leveraged distinct initiation-sensitive reporters to identify novel ssl2 alleles. These ssl2 alleles, many of which alter residues conserved from yeast to human, confer either upstream or downstream TSS shifts at the model promoter ADH1 and genome-wide. Specifically, tested ssl2 alleles alter TSS selection by increasing or narrowing the distribution of TSSs used at individual promoters. Genetic interactions of ssl2 alleles with other initiation factors are consistent with ssl2 allele classes functioning through increasing or decreasing scanning processivity but not necessarily scanning rate. These alleles underpin a residue interaction network that likely modulates Ssl2 activity and TFIIH function in promoter scanning. We propose that the outcome of promoter scanning is determined by two functional networks, the first being Pol II activity and factors that modulate it to determine initiation efficiency within a scanning window, and the second being Ssl2/TFIIH and factors that modulate scanning processivity to determine the width of the scanning widow.
Genomics datasets generated in the current study are available in the NCBI BioProject and SRA, under the accession numbers of PRJNA681384 and SRP295731, respectively. The processed genomic data files are available in GEO, under the accession number of GSE182792. The streamlined commands to generate TSS-seq bedGraph files, count tables, tables of expression, spread and median TSS can be found at https://github.com/Kaplan-Lab-Pitt/Ssl2_scanning.
Function of Ssl2/TFIIH in RNA Polymerase II Transcription Start Site ScanningBioProject PRJNA681384.
Ssl2/TFIIH Function in Transcription Start Site Scanning by RNA Polymerase II in Saccharomyces cerevisiaeNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE182792.
Function of Ssl2/TFIIH in RNA Polymerase II Transcription Start Site ScanningNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, SRP295731.
- Craig D Kaplan
- B Franklin Pugh
- Bryce E Nickels
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Eric J Wagner, University of Rochester Medical Center, United States
© 2021, Zhao 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.
Although most species have two sexes, multisexual (or multi-mating type) species are also widespread. However, it is unclear how mating-type recognition is achieved at the molecular level in multisexual species. The unicellular ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila has seven mating types, which are determined by the MTA and MTB proteins. In this study, we found that both proteins are essential for cells to send or receive complete mating-type information, and transmission of the mating-type signal requires both proteins to be expressed in the same cell. We found that MTA and MTB form a mating-type recognition complex that localizes to the plasma membrane, but not to the cilia. Stimulation experiments showed that the mating-type-specific regions of MTA and MTB mediate both self- and non-self-recognition, indicating that T. thermophila uses a dual approach to achieve mating-type recognition. Our results suggest that MTA and MTB form an elaborate multifunctional protein complex that can identify cells of both self and non-self mating types in order to inhibit or activate mating, respectively.
Transposable elements (TEs) are major contributors to structural genomic variation by creating interspersed duplications of themselves. In return, structural variants (SVs) can affect the genomic distribution of TE copies and shape their load. One long-standing hypothesis states that hybridization could trigger TE mobilization and thus increase TE load in hybrids. We previously tested this hypothesis (Hénault et al., 2020) by performing a large-scale evolution experiment by mutation accumulation (MA) on multiple hybrid genotypes within and between wild populations of the yeasts Saccharomyces paradoxus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using aggregate measures of TE load with short-read sequencing, we found no evidence for TE load increase in hybrid MA lines. Here, we resolve the genomes of the hybrid MA lines with long-read phasing and assembly to precisely characterize the role of SVs in shaping the TE landscape. Highly contiguous phased assemblies of 127 MA lines revealed that SV types like polyploidy, aneuploidy, and loss of heterozygosity have large impacts on the TE load. We characterized 18 de novo TE insertions, indicating that transposition only has a minor role in shaping the TE landscape in MA lines. Because the scarcity of TE mobilization in MA lines provided insufficient resolution to confidently dissect transposition rate variation in hybrids, we adapted an in vivo assay to measure transposition rates in various S. paradoxus hybrid backgrounds. We found that transposition rates are not increased by hybridization, but are modulated by many genotype-specific factors including initial TE load, TE sequence variants, and mitochondrial DNA inheritance. Our results show the multiple scales at which TE load is shaped in hybrid genomes, being highly impacted by SV dynamics and finely modulated by genotype-specific variation in transposition rates.